Board of Deputies chief executive Gillian Merron, Jewish Leadership Council CEO Simon Johnson and the Community Security Trust’s deputy director of communications Dave Rich have met senior Liberal Democrat representatives, the Rt. Hon. Don Foster MP, Chief Whip and Stephen Williams MP, spokesperson for Communities, to raise the Jewish community’s ongoing concerns regarding provocative and offensive statements made by David Ward MP.
The community’s frustration at Ward’s continued use of offensive language while remaining a Lib Dem MP was strongly conveyed.
Mr Foster informed those present that he had spoken to Mr Ward and had made clear which statements he found offensive or antisemitic. He added that standing orders in the parliamentary party over the Chief Whip’s role had been changed to enable the Chief Whip to take more concrete action and that work was taking place on guidelines for all parliamentary candidates surrounding offensive language – the All Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism’s report will be used as a point of reference.
The Board, JLC and CST will continue to monitor and raise concerns regarding provocative and incendiary remarks by high profile figures.