SNP sidelines party activist over antisemitic online posts

Amjed Hussain pictured with Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP's election manifesto launch
Amjed Hussain pictured with Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP's election manifesto launch

The SNP was tonight embroiled in an antisemitism row when it emerged that a party activist has been sharing offensive anti-Israel material on Facebook.

Amjed Hussain, from Edinburgh, was pictured with Nicola Sturgeon and other leading SNP figures at the party’s manifesto launch and has been on the campaign trail with Nationalist candidates and parliamentarians.

Pro-Israel groups and opposition politicians were angered when they learned of the material being promoted by Mr Hussain, who is a Facebook friend of several government ministers.

Earlier tonight the SNP instructed its campaign teams to ensure Mr Hussain takes no further part in the election after his online activity came to light.

Last month Mr Hussain shared a photo, which bore the slogan “Israel has no history – only a criminal record”.

He also shared a video, which claimed that the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks were an operation carried out by Mossad, the Israel national intelligence agency. Another post shared by Mr Hussain linked Islamic State to Israel. It said: “ISIS is the only terrorist organisation that will travel 2,000 miles to attack Brussels, but can’t travel 52 miles to attack Israel – because the dog does not bite its own tail.”

Mr Hussain shared a post which asked how many “unionists” could be fitted in a “pot roast” and shared a picture of the Royal Family underneath a guillotine.

One of his posts showed Ms Sturgeon appearing to sign his copy of the SNP manifesto. He was also photographed with Depute Leader Stewart Hosie and Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

Although not a SNP member, Mr Hussain describes himself as a party activist. Last week he was out campaigning with Alyn Smith MEP, Jim Eadie, the candidate for the Edinburgh Southern seat, as well as Catalan foreign minister Raul Romeva.

Sammy Stein, the co-founder of Glasgow Friends of Israel, said: “I have seen some pretty grotesque material from him plus quite a few photographs of him with prominent people from the SNP.

“I find the two together quite disturbing.”

Conservative politician Murdo Fraser said: “This is quite clearly antisemitic. Why the party would want to be associated with highly offensive individuals is a mystery.”

A SNP spokesman said: “Mr Hussain is not an SNP member. These views are not acceptable, and certainly don’t reflect those of the SNP, and we have instructed local campaign teams to ensure this individual takes no further part in the election campaign.”

Mr Hussain said: “I want people to have a discussion. I am questioning things.

“They are somebody else’s posts. I am just sharing them.”