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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Councillor facing calls to resign over ‘deeply offensive’ anti-Israel posts

Calls have been sounded for the resignation of a Middlesbrough councillor over anti-Israel posts he shared on Facebook.

As reported, Central ward Cllr Zafar Uddin shared several posts on the social media platform which were described by the Conservative party as “hate-filled” and “divisive”. One of the posts accused several world leaders of being “baby killers” and others described Israel as a “terrorist state”.

Following the news, the leader of the Middlesbrough Independent Councillors Association, Mick Saunders, issued a statement on behalf of the group calling for Cllr Uddin to resign “immediately”. He said some of the removed posts are “clearly anti-Semitic” and “appear to incite violence” while some remaining posts contain the phrase, “from the river to the Sea, Palestine should be free”, which he described as “deeply offensive”.

The statement said: “Cllr Uddin should do the honourable thing, stand down immediately and if not the Labour Party should expel him.” Cllr Uddin, who appears to have removed some of the posts in question, has been contacted regarding the statement and declined to comment.

Cllr Saunders said he reported the posts to Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke as well as the newly elected Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, Matt Storey, and Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald. The Local Democracy Reporting has contacted all three; Cllr Storey and Mr McDonald declined to comment on the matter while Mr Cooke has yet to respond.

A spokesperson for the Labour party has said complaints are taken “very seriously” and investigated in line with policies and procedures, but added: “We do not comment on individual cases.”

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