British lawmaker apologizes for questioning Jewish ambassador’s ‘loyalty’

NEW YORK (JTA) — A British lawmaker apologized for suggesting that a Jewish ambassador to Israel is biased because of his religion.

Paul Flynn, a Labour Party parliamentarian, was accused of anti-Semitism last week after he claimed that Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, “was serving the interests of the Israeli government.”

On Wednesday, Flynn referred to his comments as “clumsily expressed remarks” and withdrew them in an interview with the London Jewish Chronicle.

"There is no reason that anyone of any race or religion should be debarred from public office," Flynn said. "That has always been my opinion. The comments were made in a heated exchange in a select committee discussion on probable warmongering. Other information received contradicts criticism I quoted on the conduct of our ambassador. I regret any offense caused.

Flynn has served in the House of Commons since 1987 and represents the Welsh district of Newport West.

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