Ofcom’s online safety supervision director has been suspended after anti-Israel comments were posted on her private Instagram account.
Screengrabs published by the Guido Fawkes website appeared to show posts from Fadzai Madzingira’s account describing Israel as an ‘apartheid state’.
She is also claimed to have liked a post criticising Israel and the UK for forming a ‘vile colonial alliance’.
Ms Madzingira was appointed by media watchdog Ofcom in June 2023.
An Ofcom spokesperson said: ‘Having reviewed these comments we’ve suspended this colleague, pending further investigation.’
Ms Madzingira describes herself as a ‘Zimbabwean, a black feminist, a student of decolonisation and a deep believer in liberty for all’ in the Instagram story obtained by the political website.
Speaking to her followers, she said: ‘I could not process that we continue to act with surprise at what happens in an apartheid state.’
Another image showed the account had liked a post from the official page of Black Lives Matter UK – criticising the news that the UK would deploy Navy ships to support Israel.
The caption said: ‘As if it wasn’t bad enough already, the UK is also set to participate in the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinians.
‘Shame on this vile colonial alliance.’ Her account appears to have now been deleted.
It comes after the attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7 and the subsequent military retaliation.
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.
Meanwhile, more than 2,750 Palestinians are reported to have been killed and 9,700 wounded since the fighting erupted.
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.’