Theresa May has said voters will be “disappointed” that a former Liberal Democrat MP who was suspended for allegedly anti-Semitic remarks has been put forward for reselection.

The Prime Minister hit out at the “questionable views” of former Bradford East MP David Ward, who was suspended by the party in 2013 after questioning the continued existence of the state of Israel.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron previously suggested it was appropriate for Mr Ward to put himself forward under internal rules, as he retained all rights as a party member during his suspension.

 

During a heated exchange at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mrs May said: “People will be, I think, rightly disappointed to see the Liberal Democrats re-adopt a candidate with a questionable record on anti-Semitism.

“It is important that all parties maintain the strongest possible censure on all forms of intolerance and send that message to our communities.”

Her comments came in response to a question from former minister Eric Pickles, who said party leaders must do more than “pay lip service” to tackling anti-Semitism.

He asked her: “Do you share my disgust that a former member of this House, criticised by the Home Affairs Select Committee for his anti-Semitic utterances, is now the official candidate in Bradford East for the Liberal Democrats?”

Mr Ward, who was also forced to apologise in 2014 after suggesting he might be ready to fire rockets from Gaza into Israel, was put forward as a candidate to fight the 2015 general election but lost his seat.