Lib Dem condemned over Holocaust comment
Lib Dem MP David Ward has been condemned by his party for comments he made about Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
In a statement posted on his website ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, Mr Ward accused "the Jews" of "inflicting atrocities on Palestinians..on a daily basis".
Mr Ward described twice visiting Auschwitz concentration camp, and said he was committed to "honouring those who died during the Holocaust".
But the Lib Dem MP added: "I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza."
A Lib Dem spokesman said the party was taking the matter "extremely seriously".
"The Liberal Democrats deeply regret and condemn the statement issued by David Ward and his use of language which is unacceptable," he added.
Mr Ward defended his comments this evening, telling Sky News his remarks were "very, very clear".
"I have always, and I’ve been on record, as criticising very, very strongly Hamas, the flying of rockets at innocent Israelis," he said.
"But it was the Holocaust we were talking about, the unbelievable suffering of the Jews in the Holocaust and I was therefore making that link direct to those Jews, and strictly those Jews, who were perpetrating the unbelievably inhumane treatment of Palestinians today.
"I have said what I have said. It is very, very clear and I do have to wonder why people are trying to spin this and make something other than what I am actually saying."