SACKED Liberal Democrat candidate David Ward has said he wants to take legal action against former party leader Tim Farron for branding him an anti-Semite.

Last night Mr Farron dramatically quit as leader of the Liberal Democrats, saying he cannot face continued questions over his Christian faith.

Mr Farron sacked the former MP for Bradford East as a General Election candidate in April, saying he was “unfit to represent the party” because of comments he had made in the past.

At a rally at the time, Mr Farron had called comments by Mr Ward “deeply offensive, wrong and anti-Semitic”.

But Mr Ward, a vocal critic of Israel who has always strongly denied being anti-Semitic, said he was now considering suing Mr Farron for slander.

He said: “He’s clearly called me anti-Semitic and I don’t believe I am. I will be looking to see if there is any legal recourse against him and his comments.”

Mr Ward, currently an independent councillor, said he was now also considering taking legal action against both the governing body at Hanson School and Bradford Council, after he was blocked from being a school governor amid the furore.

The Council-run school in Swain House is working with the Gorse Academies Trust to try to turn around its fortunes after poor exam performances and Ofsted results.

At the time, a spokesman for the Gorse Academies Trust said members of the governing body had expressed concern about “recent comments made by David Ward about people of Jewish faith”.

Mr Ward said: “I believe that I am the victim of a malicious slur that could prove detrimental to my standing in the community, my involvement in public life and my employment opportunities.”

A spokesman for Gorse Academies Trust said: “The position of the governing body and local authority was we felt, with Hanson Academy being at a particularly vulnerable and sensitive time in its development, we didn’t want to have anything that was detracting from the important work we were setting about doing.

“We felt that this was going to be a potential distraction from our work, at a time when we needed to be entirely focused on the business in hand.”

Mr Ward’s position within the party yesterday remained unclear.

Mr Ward said he had now been permanently thrown out, after running against the Liberal Democrats as an independent candidate in the General Election.

However, a spokesman for the Liberal Democrats said yesterday: “David Ward remains suspended from the party and there will be disciplinary action now that the election is over.”

The spokesman declined to comment on Mr Ward’s threat of legal action.

Tim Farron's shock resignation announcement came just hours after the party’s openly gay home affairs spokesman Lord Paddick said he was standing down citing “concerns about the leader’s views on various issues”.

Mr Farron, an evangelical Christian who was repeatedly questioned during the General Election campaign as to whether he believed gay sex was a sin, said his religion had made him a “subject of suspicion”.