Tories suspend candidate who ran group which asked if ‘Zionism is racism’

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Tories suspend candidate who ran group which asked if ‘Zionism is racism’

EXCLUSIVE: Party takes action against former Jeremy Corbyn-supporter Khalid Sharif over social media posts

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Khalid Sharif's posts
Khalid Sharif's posts

The Conservative Party have suspended a candidate selected to fight a council seat in Redbridge after it emerged he ran a Facebook group which held on poll asking:”Is Zionism racism?”

Khalid Sharif has been confirmed as as Redbridge Conservatives candidate in the Clayhall ward for next May’s election after joined the party last year from Labour where he had previously described Jeremy Corbyn as a “breath of fresh air.”

Jewish News had reported on Sharif’s creation of a poll on the IG–Soc: Connecting Muslims in Redbridge Insha’Allah Facebook group, which had posed the question about Zionism.

Comments were posted beneath the poll, which was launched in July, including the claim: “Just asking the question will be considered antisemitic. The Zionists have great powers hence they’ve made sure no one can say anything against them.”

On Tuesday afternoon a Tory Party spokesperson confirmed to Jewish News:” Khalid Sharif has been  suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.”

Sharif had also told his local newspaper he had quit Labour to join the Tories last year over concerns that issues such relationships and sex education (RSE) and the implementation of the Prevent programme were being ignored by Sir Keir Starmer’s party.

Speaking to the Ilford Recorder he said that while he did not agree with everything in the Conservative Party, the “key difference” from Labour was that he was “allowed to have a differing view”.
“If you are not able to discuss and issue, to debate it, where is the democracy in your party?”
The former Momentum member added he felt Jeremy Corbyn had been “a breath of fresh air” for Labour but “that era has gone” and that “you are going to see more and more Muslims move away from the Labour Party”.
He added the Conservative Party also “had to work harder” to engage with Muslims, but that the first step was “people like myself joining the party”.

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