A Liverpool councillor ,who has repeatedly spoken in support of Dame Louise Ellman over claims she suffered antisemitic abuse while an MP, has alleged he was threatened by a hard-left activist who labelled him “Zionist c**t” in an unprovoked confrontation.
Councillor Nick Small – who has represented the Central Liverpool area for 17 years – claimed he was approached on a bridge by Terry Clarke, who was with a group of other activists who had been taking part in an anti-arms fair demo outside the nearby Liverpool Arena on Wednesday afternoon.
Clarke, who is currently suspended from Liverpool Riverside Labour Party pending an investigation into a tweet he posted referencing former MP Ellman, is alleged to have shouted at the councillor, who was walking home from work, before walking up to him aggressively and confronting him.
Small, who is also a member of Riverside CLP, claimed on Thursday: “He did threaten me. He got right up into my face. I did think he was going to assault me at one stage.
“He’s clearly not a pacifist either. He did call me a ‘Zionist c**t amongst lots of other vile and abusive things. And he said I had ‘blood on my hands’
” He’s a 70 year-old man. I just said to him ‘I’m not going to fight with a drunk old man.’
“But it really was aggressive behaviour.”
When Jewish News attempted to speak to Clarke about the incident on his mobile telephone a man alleged: “I am speaking on behalf of Terry Clarke – he doesn’t want to speak to people like you.”
Asked about threats made to Cllr Small and his reference to him as a “Zionist c**t” the man said: “Bye bye, don’t phone this number again.”
Two police officers who had been walking nearby eventually intervened.
The Merseyside Police officers were seen speaking with the 70 year-old man for some time after the incident, which took place at around 5pm.
Small told Jewish News he decided not to make a formal complaint to police about the incident – but he had lodged a complaint with the Labour Party about Clarke’s conduct.
The councillor said he had “no doubt” the incident was linked to his vocal support for Ellman over the years.
He said that in his view Clarke was “a vile person.”
About 100 protesters gathered outside the Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre (ACC) on Wednesday ahead of a two-day conference on military arms technology.
Small said he was not someone who supported the hosting of an arms fair in the city either, although he had not joined the protests, which had been backed by Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and others – and had focused particularly on Israeli linked firms at the show.
“I think it lets the whole protest down,” the councillor claimed of Clarke’s conduct. “I didn’t support the event coming to Liverpool but you let the whole cause down by engaging in violent thuggish behaviour like this.”
Jewish News has contacted Merseyside Police .
It is understood that Clarke had been administratively suspended pending an investigation by Labour over a prior complaint.
A Labour spokesperson said:”The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate action is taken.”
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