Lib Dem by-election candidate is suspended for promoting antisemitic videos
PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:07 07 February 2019
A Liberal Democrat candidate standing in today's by-election in Shadwell has been suspended from the party for promoting antisemitic videos presented by Holocaust denier and former KKK leader David Duke.
Last night it was announced Abjol Miah was under investigation for spreading a clip titled “CNN, Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix” on social media in 2014.
In the video, American white supremacist Duke voicing opinions that Jews are secretly controlling western governments by running the world’s banks and media – an antisemitic smear.
Mr Miah will still appear as a Liberal Democrat on the ballot paper but will sit as an independent if elected, the party said.
“Mr Miah had shared content that contained antisemitic sentiment, his party membership has been revoked, pending an investigation”, a Lib Dem spokesman said. “All campaigning in Shadwell has been suspended.”
Mr Miah apologised “unreservedly” for sharing the video.
“I have worked closely with members of Tower Hamlets’ Jewish community, built trust and understanding and learned about the discrimination which they continue to face,” he said. “I am very upset that my earlier error might damage that trust.”
It follows the ward’s Labour candidate apologising last week after being accused of endorsing hate preachers online.
John Biggs, the borough’s mayor, said: “It is not acceptable for the candidate of any party to broadcast or condone antisemitic or other hateful messages.”
Mr Miah has stood for four different parties in the borough.
He was first elected as a councillor in 2006 for George Galloway’s Respect party and was later a member of disgraced former mayor Lutfur Rahman’s administration, before standing as a People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets candidate last year.
Tower Hamlets Conservative leader Andrew Wood said: “This incident shows how misguided the Lib Dem’s were to accept tainted former Lutfur Rahman councillors into their party. After viewing the video that he shared there can be no doubt that it contained deeply antisemitic ideas reminiscent of Nazi propaganda.”
Last week Labour candidate Asik Rahman apologised for “liking” the pages of Dr Zakir Naik — who was barred from the UK in 2010 for praising Osama Bin Laden and saying “all Muslims should be terrorists” — on his Facebook account.
He also shared posts by Mufti Ismail Menk, who has branded gay people “worse than animals”.
He unliked both pages after the media contacted him and said he was “wholeheartedly sorry”.
Elections are taking place in Shadwell and Lansbury wards after two Labour councillors quit in December.
Muhammed Harun resigned after being accused of housing fraud. He has denied the claims.
Ruhul Amin left his seat in Shadwell for personal reasons.