POLITICS

Tim Farron Bans Ex-Lib Dem MP David Ward From Standing In Election Over Anti-Semitism Row

26/04/2017 14:08 BST | Updated 26/04/2017 14:52 BST
PA Wire/PA Images
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron speaks to staff during a visit to the National Pharmacy Association in St Albans, on the general election campaign trail.

Tim Farron has stepped into prevent a former Lib Dem MP accused of anti-Semitism from returning to parliament. 

Theresa May criticised Farron during PMQs today after David Ward was selected to fight Bradford East - the seat he previously held from 2010 until 2015.

“I believe in a politics that is open, tolerant and united. David Ward is unfit to represent the party and I have sacked him,” the Lib Dem leader said today.

Farron was put under pressure to stop Ward from standing, having initially said it was up to the local party to choose its candidate.

In 2013, Ward was criticised for accusing “the Jews” in Israel of “inflicting atrocities on Palestinians... on a daily basis”.

Farron has said Ward’s comments have been “deeply offensive, wrong and antisemitic”.

May, speaking during prime minister’s questions today, said people would be “rightly disappointed” to see the Liberal Democrats “readopt a candidate with a questionable record on anti-Semitism”.

“It is important that all parties maintain the strongest possible censure on all forms of intolerance and send that message to our communities,” she said.

Farron used his question to condemn the Conservative Party as having “never been nastier”.

But May told him: “I find it difficult to hear those words coming from his mouth when his party has just selected a candidate with questionable views on anti-semitism.”