News

Lib Dem councillor who called Jewish people ‘evil’ and ‘vile’ in a string of anti-Semitic tweets is arrested for ‘stirring up racial hatred’


Police have arrested a suspended Lib Dem councillor on suspicion of ‘stirring up racial hatred’ after she called Jewish people ‘evil’, ‘vile’ and ‘horrendous’ in a string of anti-Semitic tweets. 

Pat Marsh, who has served under the North Yorkshire Liberal Democrats for 33 years, is being investigated by the party after dozens of remarks, including one where she said it was ‘no wonder people are becoming anti-Jewish’, emerged.

In one post, the grandmother-of-six said ‘the world is silent, the Jews pay for that’ while in another she wrote ‘I hope you Jews out there feel proud of yourselves. For a so-called Religious Group you are evil’.

North Yorkshire Police launched an investigation into the anti-Semitic comments shared on X. The force later arrested Marsh on suspicion of displaying threatening, abusive or insulting written material with intent or likely to stir up racial hatred.

The Harrogate councillor, who posted the comments between January 22 and February 18, remains in custody. She was later suspended from the Lib Dems and removed from the council group.

Liberal Democrat councillor Pat Marsh has been suspended from the party and arrested by police following a series of anti-Semitic tweets

Liberal Democrat councillor Pat Marsh has been suspended from the party and arrested by police following a series of anti-Semitic tweets

The grandmother-of-six called Jewish people 'evil', 'vile' and 'horrendous' in a string of anti-Semitic tweets

The grandmother-of-six called Jewish people ‘evil’, ‘vile’ and ‘horrendous’ in a string of anti-Semitic tweets

The former Harrogate borough mayor was arrested by North Yorkshire police yesterday on suspicion of displaying threatening, abusive or insulting written material with intent or likely to stir up racial hatred

The former Harrogate borough mayor was arrested by North Yorkshire police yesterday on suspicion of displaying threatening, abusive or insulting written material with intent or likely to stir up racial hatred

The comments, which have now been removed, were made in light of the war in the Middle East between Hamas and Israel following the terrorist organisation’s unprovoked attack.

In one Tweet Ms Marsh said: ‘Money speaks louder than words. I totally agree Israel owns the USA.’ In another she wrote: ‘the Jews are vile showing they have no care other than for themselves’.

In a third the councillor, who was Lib Dem leader in Harrogate and Knaresborough, said: ‘This is a Holocaust, don’t the Jews remember when it was done to them?’

Carl Les, the Conservative leader of North Yorkshire Council, told MailOnline: ‘Her numerous tweets were disgraceful. She should resign as her views are completely unacceptable to this council which prides itself on its values. 

‘Her political colleagues need to explain why she was able to publish such views for so long without challenge.’

MailOnline reached out to Ms Marsh for comment. Responding to allegations of anti-Semitism and calls for her to resign the councillor denied to the BBC that she was anti-Semitic. 

She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: ‘I am against what they are doing to the Gazan people. I’m just trying to be a human being. I’m not anti-Semitic.’

Ms Marsh has served as a Liberal Democrat in Harrogate for more than three decades

Ms Marsh has served as a Liberal Democrat in Harrogate for more than three decades 

The councillor was still listed as a member of the Lib Dems on Friday night, however

The councillor was still listed as a member of the Lib Dems on Friday night, however 

The Lib Dems have since suspended the councillor from the local party and national party

The Lib Dems have since suspended the councillor from the local party and national party

In another set of Tweets, the councillor said that 'Israel owns the USA' and 'the Jews are vile'

In another set of Tweets, the councillor said that ‘Israel owns the USA’ and ‘the Jews are vile’

She went on to refuse to step down, telling locals she would continue to hold office as an independent.

Councillor Marsh said: ‘I do not intend to resign I will complete this term of office as an Independent. I am receiving quite a few emails of support from my residents asking me to remain as their independent councillor.

‘I have worked for my residents and the wider community for 33 years and will continue to do so until my term of office ends.’

Despite her denial, she was removed from the Lib Dems at a local and national level, with her profile on the North Yorkshire Council website now reading that she is an independent. 

A Lib Dem spokesperson said: ‘The minute we were aware, she was reported and suspended from the party and removed from the council group. This matter now rests with the police.’ 

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: ‘We are pleased the the police are investigating these allegations regarding Pat Marsh.

‘These alleged posts, which include the claim the “Jews are horrendous” and “evil” as well as several disgusting references to blood libel, serve as a troubling reminder of how deep-rooted prejudiced views like these still are.’

People attend a Campaign Against Antisemitism rally outside New Scotland Yard in central London, seeking police action amid a rise in anti-Semitic incidents

People attend a Campaign Against Antisemitism rally outside New Scotland Yard in central London, seeking police action amid a rise in anti-Semitic incidents

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Nicola Colbourne, of Harrogate Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: ‘North Yorkshire Police takes hate crime extremely seriously and we are committed to identifying those responsible.

‘We are following all available lines of enquiry and would ask anyone who has any information that could support our investigation, other than seeing the tweets, to please come forward.’

The incident comes a week after a report published by The Community Security Trust revealed the number of anti-Semitic incidents recording in Britain had jumped 147 per cent in the past year.

A huge surge is said to have taken place in the wake of the October 7 attacks and subsequent war in Gaza. 

The charity recorded 4,103 instances of anti-Semitism in Britain, up from 1,662 in 2022. 

It included 266 violent assaults on Jews, up 96 per cent year-on-year and the highest figure since the CST started gathering data 40 years ago

For the first time, it recorded at least one anti-Semitic incident for every police force in the UK, with the majority – more than 2,400 – in London, including some at vigils for Hamas’s Israeli hostages.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button