British Member of the European Parliament (MEP) David Ward has finally removed a derogatory statement about “the Jews” from his website following further calls for disciplinary action, The Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported.
Ward, a member of the Liberal Democrats, provoked outrage on International Holocaust Memorial Day last month when he said that he was “saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could, within a few years of liberation, be inflicting atrocities on the Palestinians in the new State of Israel -- and continue to do so.”
However, despite being summoned to meet the Liberal Democrat chief whip, Alistair Carmichael, and other party officials on more than one occasion, the statement had remained visible on his website.
While Ward had reportedly pledged to remove the statement, he failed to do so, prompting further calls for disciplinary action to be taken.
According to the JC, Gavin Stollar, Chairman of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel, said the failure to comply with what the party had demanded demonstrated "in no uncertain terms David Ward's genuine views despite, I know, your best efforts to explain why the language and timing of his statement were so offensive and repugnant".
Charmichael has not yet clarified what, if any, the party's response will be, but Ward told a local newspaper that he disagreed with the chief whip’s version of what was agreed upon during Tuesday's meeting.
"What has been said does not reflect what I believe was decided" he told the Telegraph and Argus. "And, as someone who has run race awareness classes, I find the idea that I have been sent on some sort of correctionary course to be patronizing and quite offensive."