Luton Lib Dem candidate suspended for '˜anti-Semitic' tweets

The Liberal Democrat candidate for Luton South has left the Party following allegations of anti-semitic posts on social media.

Wednesday, 26th April 2017, 11:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:57 pm
Ashuk Ahmed MBE

Ashuk Ahmed MBE is well-known for his community work in Luton and last stood in the 2015 election, coming fourth in the race after Gavin Shuker MP held on to his seat.

Last week, it was announced that Mr Ahmed would be standing again for the seat following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a general election, but those plans have been scrapped following these latest allegations.

The alleged postings on Facebook and Twitter date from 2014 – before the last election – and take a swipe at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with one post comparing him to Hitler. Other alleged images include Netanyahu as a vampire with references made to dying children in Palestine.

They were unearthed by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, who shared the postings with The Daily Mail. Mr Ahmed was suspended from the Liberal Democrat Party soon afterwards. Today, it was confirmed that he was no longer a member.

A Party spokesman said: “Any instance of anti-Semitism by a Liberal Democrat candidate during this campaign will be dealt with immediately and robustly.

“We were alerted to anti-Semitic social media posts by Ashuk Ahmed, the Liberal Democrat candidate in Luton South, who was immediately suspended.”

Cllr David Franks, head of the Liberal Democrats on Luton Borough Council, added: “These allegations as yet are not proved. If they do prove to be correct then there is no space for these views or this person in the Liberal Democrat Party.”

“Mr Ahmed is no longer a member of the party and will not be a Liberal Democrat candidate in the coming election.

“Luton Liberal Democrat local party is in the process of selecting a new candidate and is being assisted in this by the National and Regional parties.”

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism added: “Despite the fact that Ahmed had been exposed as an antisemite, the Liberal Democrats still decided to select him as their candidate for the Luton South Constituency in the forthcoming General Election, just as they did in 2015.

“The Party only moved to suspend Ahmed when Campaign Against Antisemitism exposed him in the Daily Mail.

“This is outrageous and we call on the Liberal Democrats to expel him from the Party and send a clear message that their party is not a safe place for antisemites.”

Mr Ahmed has been contacted by Luton Herald & Post.