UK Labour candidate Ziad Alsayed brands Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky a "Zionist" and a "Facist"

As the world marvels at the leadership of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky in the face of Russia's invasion, a Labour candidate for Britain's upcoming local council elections has been suspended by his party after he questioned support for the Jewish president of Ukraine, calling him a "Zionist".

Arabic speaking Ziad Alsayed, who is standing in Baruc ward in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, sent the tweet about Volodymyr Zelensky - who is himself amongst the most secular of Jews - in February.

Ziad Alsayed

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said the comment was offensive "on a number of levels".

Labour said it no longer endorsed him, although he will remain on the ballot for the election, listed as a Labour candidate, as nominations have closed.

This follows controversy earlier in the week after Vale of Glamorgan Conservative MP Alun Cairns raised concerns about other tweets sent by the candidate, including one where he called Mr Zelensky a "fascist".

In a tweet sent on February 26th Mr Alsayed, whose social media posts suggest he is a strong supporter of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote in Arabic: "How could we side with a country that has a Zionist president", referring to the Jewish Ukrainian president.

In a later tweet, Mr Alsayed said in response to London mayor Sadiq Khan expressing solidarity for Ukraine: "If you mean the Ukrainian people that's OK, but not the fascist president."

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Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: "A Labour candidate suggesting that Ukraine should not be supported because it has a 'Zionist president' is offensive on a number of levels. We trust that Labour will move quickly to suspend this individual from the party."

Mr Alsayed has been suspended pending an investigation.

Anti-Semitism & the Labour Party.

The Labour Party has a long tradition of anti-Semitism, particularly under Corbyn, a Marxist and a supporter of various Arabic terrorist groups, and under his leadership failed to support the 2019 House of Commons ban on Hezbollah - it is now a criminal offence in the UK to show support for Hezbollah, punishable with a 10 year prison sentence.

In 2020 Sir Keir Starmer, who replaced Corbyn as leader, stated his commitment to stamp out Anti-Semitism in his party.

However, he tried to keep a lid on a report into the problem by the Labour Party's Governance and legal unit, which was leaked to the press even before publication and is accessible below.

The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 - 2019 can be accessed HERE.

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