A Conservative council candidate has said that she could never support Ed Miliband as he is a Jew. Her comment was posted on Facebook; it has since been removed.
Gulzabeen Afsal, who is seeking election in Derby, posted comments in support of the Conservatives saying “Just can’t take Mr Ed Miiband seriously!! DC has what it takes to be the future PM.”
Her friend Zaid Amjad teasingly replied “Now come on, some respect for the future PM”, to which Ms Afsal responded “Nah bro! never ever will I drop that low and support the al yahud [Arabic for Jew] lol,” Jewish News has reported.
A Conservative spokesman said: “Her comment was offensive and wrong. She has removed it and apologised.”
But the Labour Party and members of the Jewish Community have called for an investigation, highlighting the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK. 2014 saw a doubling of anti-Semitic attacks in the Uk, with 1,168 incidents being recorded by the Community Security Trust. The figure is the highest ever recorded by the Trust in a single year since it began monitoring anti-Semitism in 1984.
Jay Stoll, of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “This is clearly unacceptable and the relevant authorities should investigate this matter swiftly.”
And a spokesman for Derby Labour Party added: “With anti-Semitism on the rise across Europe it is abhorrent and terrifying that a prospective Conservative politician would say something like this.
“Derby Conservatives should launch an immediate investigation into this incident and take the appropriate action. Derby must be free from prejudice, especially from those seeking elected office.”
It is believed that this is the first time Mr Miliband’s Jewish heritage has been raised by an opponent during the election campaign.
Mr Miliband recently spoke out against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, telling an audience in Leicester: “We need to confront the scourge of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia head on with strong action on hate crimes.
“For the first time ever we are going to make sure that when people commit hate crimes they are clearly marked on the criminal records of those who commit them. And, tough new sentencing guidelines which ensure aggravated criminal offences based on hate crime are properly dealt with by the courts.”