A Conservative County Councillor has apologised for comparing kosher shops in Paris with those in Gaza in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks.

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Colin Woodward, a Conservative County Councillor for Bishop’s Stortford West Division, replied to a Twitter user who wondered if ‘there would be any kosher stores open today?’, following the deadly Super Cacher siege last Friday. Woodward replied that there are ‘probably more open than shops in #GazaUnderAttack.’

Conservative MP Robert Halfon condemned the comments. He said: “The remarks were unacceptable, unnecessary and unsavoury. It is sad that these abhorrent views are prevalent from people who hold positions of authority. Fortunately the vast majority of the Conservatives do not share them.”

Israel advocacy group StandWithUs took to Twitter to speculate about whether “ignorant terror-minimising Cllr Woodward is more ill-informed or sick?’. In response Woodward apologised, tweeting to the organisation’s Israel director Michael Dickson: “To you and the many others offended by my responding to a Tweet with an insensitive link I make an unreserved apology.”