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David Ward MP House of Commons LONDON SW1A 0AA 26th February 2013

Dear David I refer to your meeting last night with Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes and myself. Nick wished it to be quite clearly understood that the party recognises your right to express your legitimately and sincerely held views on the conditions in which Palestinians live, especially on the West Bank and in Gaza. He was equally clear, however, that the language in which these views are articulated must not be generalised and indiscriminate in its nature. Liberal Democrats believe in fearless criticism where it is justified, but abhor generalised condemnation of a whole people where it is not. In particular your use of 'the Jews' in the article posted on your website on 24th January and your reference to 'the Jewish community' as a possible alternative, as reported in 'The Jewish News' on 7th February, is unacceptable and must not be repeated. At the meeting you undertook to work along with Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel and Simon Hughes MP to identify and agree language that will be proportionate and precise in your future interventions in this debate. We would also hope that this would allow you to achieve a better understanding of the legitimate concern that your comments has caused within the wider Jewish community. I am not clear how much time this work will require although it will involve other people making time available to work with you and their availability is at present unknown. In the circumstances, therefore, the disciplinary process currently stands adjourned and a date will require to be fixed at which progress can be reviewed and it can be concluded. In the meantime you have undertaken to remove the article of 24th January from your website and subsequent articles as a mark of your good faith in undertaking this process. In relation to the letter from Leslie Bravery while it in itself is not objectionable you have undertaken to assure yourself and us that it is not linking you to other statements that would cause offence.

I would be obliged if, in accordance with standing orders, you would acknowledge receipt of this letter and that it is an accurate account of our meeting.

Yours ever,

Alistair Carmichael MP Liberal Democrat Chief Whip