Harrogate councillor Pat Marsh resigns after anti-semitism row
Feb 26, 2024
Pat Marsh

Pat Marsh has resigned her seat on North Yorkshire Council after publishing anti-semitic tweets.

Ms Marsh, who represented Stray, Woodlands and Hookstone, served as a councillor for more than three decades.

She was for many years the Liberal Democrat leader in Harrogate and Knaresborough.

But her tenure ended suddenly after it was revealed last week she posted hundreds of anti-semitic messages over a period of a month on X, formerly Twitter, which described Jews as “vile” and “horrendous” and said they “fund politics throughout the world”.

The Liberal Democrats suspended her but she denied the comments were antisemitic and pledged to continue as an independent. She claimed her tweets were prompted by concern about the deaths of thousands of children in Gaza.

Her page on the council’s website had disappeared today, which prompted the Stray Ferret to seek further details.

A council spokesperson said:

“Cllr Pat Marsh has resigned as a councillor and member representing the Stray, Woodlands and Hookstone division.”

It means there will be a by-election for the division, which Ms Marsh won in May 2022 with 1,350 votes, ahead of Conservative John Ennis with 910 votes. Labour polled 189 votes and Independent Anna McIntee received 167 votes.

Local Lib Dem representatives have remained silent on the issue, which has been dealt with by the party’s national press office. Harrogate and Knaresborough is regarded as a target seat for the Lib Dems at the next general election.

The Stray Ferret asked the party for an update on its investigation into Ms Marsh, which it said last week would be swift.

A spokesperson said the matter was being dealt with by an independent panel and it was currently unable to comment.

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