The Labour Party has suspended a candidate in the upcoming local elections after he reportedly referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, as a “Zionist”, questioning why he had so much support.
Ziad Alsayed, a candidate for the Baruc ward in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, allegedly wrote the tweet in Arabic on 26th February, saying “How could we side with a country that has a Zionist president?” He has since deleted the tweet.
Alun Cairns, Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, expressed his concern about another tweet written by Mr Alsayed, in which the Labour candidate calls Mr Zelenskyy a “fascist”. Mr Alsayed is understood to have responded to an expression of solidarity for Ukraine written by London Mayor Sadiq Khan with the words: “If you mean the Ukrainian people that’s OK, but not the fascist president.”
Although the Labour Party has suspended Mr Alsayed pending an investigation, he will remain on the ballot for the election, nominally as the Party’s candidate, because nominations have already closed.
A spokesperson for Labour said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously. They are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate action is taken.”
The Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.