16 October 2023

Ofcom’s online safety supervision director suspended after posts about Israel

16 October 2023

Ofcom’s online safety supervision director has been suspended after anti-Israel comments were posted on her private Instagram account.

Fadzai Madzingira was appointed by media watchdog Ofcom in June 2023 and has now been suspended.

Screengrabs published by the Guido Fawkes website appeared to show posts from Ms Madzingira’s account describing Israel as an “apartheid state” and liking a post criticising Israel and the UK for a “vile colonial alliance”.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “Having reviewed these comments we’ve suspended this colleague, pending further investigation.”

It comes after the attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7 and the subsequent military retaliation.

More than 2,750 Palestinians are reported to have been killed and 9,700 wounded since the fighting erupted, and more than 1,400 Israelis have died, the vast majority civilians killed in the October 7 assault, while the country’s military said that at least 199 hostages had been taken to Gaza.

At least six Britons were killed in Hamas’s “pogrom” in Israel and a further 10 are missing, Rishi Sunak told MPs on Monday as he increased aid to the Palestinian people by a third.

Conservative MP for Stone Sir William Cash called on Ofcom to “deal with” as a matter of “impartiality” reports that one of its directors supported comments critical of Israel.

Speaking in the House of Commons following a statement by the Prime Minister, he said: “Will the Attorney General be asked to provide a legal note, if not a full opinion, given for example that one of Ofcom’s directors… is reported to be supporting posts, this week itself, arguing that the Government’s support for Israel is a vile colonial alliance, referring to ethnic cleansing, and genocide of Palestinians?

“And Ofcom must surely be told that it must deal with this at once as a matter of impartiality, quite apart from any criminal action that may be needed under terrorist or criminal law.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “I’ll ensure that the Attorney looks into it, and, more generally, just say, I absolutely endorse those describing these attacks calling them what they are which are attacks of terror by a terrorist organisation.”

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