A Conservative MP has called for the suspension of a candidate in this week’s London Assembly elections after he retweeted a message suggesting you can get away with offending anyone “so long as they’re not Jewish”. 

Labour’s Murad Qureshi, who has already served 12 years on the Assembly, apologised after he retweeted the post from journalist Mira Bar-Hillel, a prominent critic of Israel on social media, during the height of the scandal surrounding Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone.  

It claimed Katie Hopkins “is proof positive you can get away with deeply offending anyone in this country as long as they’re not Jewish.” Qureshi also ‘liked’ the post but deleted it. He is number four on Labour’s list for Thursday’s poll and therefore has a strong chance of being elected.

Following calls by Mike Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, for him to be suspended, Qureshi said: “I apologise for any offence caused by this retweet. The views it contained were wrong and do not reflect my own and I quickly deleted the retweet as I recognised it was inappropriate.”

Mike Freer MP

Mike Freer MP

Mike Freer said: “It is disgraceful, although sadly unsurprising, that just a day after the Labour Party quite rightly acted to suspend Ken Livingstone from their party for repeated anti-semitic statements, one of Labour’s London Assembly candidates should endorse such disgraceful views. “Londoners will have the chance to reject Murad’s divisive and unacceptable comments next Thursday at the polls, but the Labour Party should act now and suspend his candidacy. Only by doing so will they prove that they are serious about rooting out and stamping out anti-semitism.”

The double suspension of Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone brought the total number of Labour figures suspended to around 10 during an unfolding scandal spanning six weeks. Jeremy Corbyn revealed to the Jewish News he was setting up an inquiry and proposing a new code of conduct, amid mounting pressure to do more to crack down.