David Ward has been told by Tim Farron, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, that he cannot stand as the party’s candidate for Bradford East at the 2017 General Election. Ward had been the MP for the constituency from 2010 until 2015, but had become embroiled in allegations of anti-semitism.
When Ward’s candidacy was announced, Farron expressed his concern but initially didn’t block the decision of the local association. Following increased opposition, including from Theresa May and Eric Pickles at Prime Minister’s Question Time, the party decided to take action.
Farron said in a statement:
“I believe in a politics that is open, tolerant and united. David Ward is unfit to represent the party and I have sacked him”.
Ward defended himself against the allegations, saying:
“The antisemitic thing is a nonsense. It is just used, it’s a well-known tactic. How do you avoid conversation or any criticism about Israel? Just say people are antisemitic. I am certainly not antisemitic”.
Labour’s Imran Hussein won the constituency, beating Ward, in 2015 with a majority of 7,084.