Lib Dems deny withdrawing support for Hampstead and Kilburn parliamentary candidate Maajid Nawaz
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
The Liberal Democrats have dismissed reports the party is withdrawing support for their Hampstead and Kilburn parliamentary candidate.
Last week, The Spectator reported that a “very well-placed senior source” in the party said Maajid Nawaz had “seriously damaged his chances of winning the seat and that ‘chucking the kitchen sink at it might not be worth the effort’”.
It follows Mr Nawaz’s decision in January to post a cartoon of the Islamic prophet on Twitter to demonstrate that not all Muslims were offended by “bland” depictions of the Prophet.
The tweet prompted a petition calling for the Lib Dems to remove Mr Nawaz which has been signed by more than 22,000 people.
A Lib Dem spokesman described last week’s report as “completely untrue” and said there was “no change in the party’s support for Maajid”.
City banker and Hampstead resident James Newsome, who is working as Mr Nawaz’s press officer and will stand as a Lib Dem councillor for Hampstead in May’s elections, said: “The positions Maajid takes on free speech and his bravery standing up against extremists at great personal risk resonates with voters in Hampstead and Kilburn and around the country.
“Some correspondents with the campaign have even said that they would like to move to north west London just so that they can vote for Maajid.”