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LONDON – A UKIP candidate for Parliament, Jack Sen, has been removed from his party’s general election listing after he tweeted messages to two prominent Jewish MPs questioning their loyalty to Britain.
Sen, who describes himself as “unapologetically politically incorrect,” was the UK Independence Party’s candidate in the northwest England constituency of West Lancashire (where he had little hope of electoral success) and reportedly has something of a reputation for “speaking his mind,” has been sharply criticized for his most recent comments.
One of his targets on Thursday was the Labor Party’s Luciana Berger, the shadow public health spokesman, who is candidate in Liverpool Wavertree which she won in the 2010 general election at her first attempt, making her the then youngest MP in the Parliament.
In his tweet about Berger, Sen wrote, “You’re about authentic Labour as Ed Miliband. Protect child benefits? If you had it your way you’d send the £ to Poland/Israel.”
Berger told London’s Jewish News it was clearly an anti-Semitic comment. “Remarks like these have no place in our politics. I expect UKIP to take action,” she added.
Last year, she was subjected to a stream of anti-Semitic abuse from Garron Helm, a rightwing man based in Liverpool who was subsequently found to have links with a neo-Nazi group. He was eventually arrested and sentenced to a four-week prison term after pleading guilty to sending an offensive, indecent or obscene message.
His imprisonment led to Berger being subjected to weeks of further anti-Semitic abuse, which led to condemnation from leaders of all the main parties and promises to take measures to stop racist messaging.
Sen’s other target was Grant Shapps, the high profile Conservative Party chairman, who is candidate in the Welwyn Hatfield constituency, a town some 45 km. north of London.
His message to Shapps stated: “So many top American politicians have dual loyalties. Sad to see someone so important in the Tory party with a dual allegiance.”
Labor Party leader Ed Miliband’s father, Ralph, who came to Britain having survived the Holocaust and died in 1994, was also a Sen target. He tweeted, “Ralph Miliband emigrated to Britain and did his utmost to destroy his host nation,” a reference to Miliband-the-father’s then close links with communist thought.
Interviewed by a right-wing website recently, Sen said that what really angered him was how “progressive white Americans and Canadians descended from people that exterminated an entire race of people (native Americans) and white Ashkenazim that have about as much right to be in the Holy Land as I do in Borneo, aren’t being told they have to go home.”
He added, “I’m not criticizing Americans or Israel – just pointing out the double standard.”
A spokesman for the Community Security Trust said that Sen’s tweets were “pathetic,” while a Board of Deputies of British Jews spokesman said it was “an outrageous, anti-Semitic slur.” He added that they expected UKIP to “respond swiftly and decisively and show that there is no room for such racism in their party.”
Last year, a group of London Jews formed a new lobbying group complaining that at the relative inactivity of Board of Deputies and other organized parts of the community during the Gaza war. In their reaction to Sen’s attack on the MPs, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism maintained that suspension must be followed by full disciplinary proceedings and his expulsion from UKIP. “We hope that Lancashire Police will now investigate under section 127 of the Communications Act. Anti-Semitism must be met with zero tolerance each and every time,” the group added.
Last week, Sen complained that alleged threats from people opposed to UKIP were making it unsafe for him to campaign in his West Lancashire constituency. In the 2010 election, Labor’s Rosie Cooper won the seat with UKIP trailing a poor fourth, with his predecessor candidate securing just 3.7% of the vote.
A UKIP spokesman told the Jewish News that Sen had expressed views that “in no way reflect the views of the party and any other of our hardworking, dedicated candidates.”
Shneur Odze, the UKIP Friends of Israel director, “warmly welcomed” the suspension which he said “sends out a strong message to any racists, you won’t find a home in UKIP.”