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The Apprentice contestant apologises for Israel tweets after receiving ‘specialist training’

Former NHS doctor Asif Munaf had shared tweets about Zionism and Israel

Hannah Roberts
Press Association
,Tom Murray
Wednesday 31 January 2024 19:14 GMT
The Apprentice trailer

A contestant on the forthcoming series of The Apprentice has received “specialist training” after the BBC series was alerted to offensive social media posts he’d shared about the Israel-Hamas war.

Former NHS doctor Asif Munaf wrote on Twitter/X last year that Zionists are “a godless, satanic cult” and said of his children: “I pray they are strong enough physically, spiritually and psychologically to overcome the trial of the Zionist antichrist.”

Munaf, who has also appeared on Dragon’s Den, was spoken to by producers so he could “understand why his posts may cause offence”.

The PA news agency understands that Mr Munaf had numerous conversations with HR and diversity and inclusion teams and also spoke to senior members of the production team after his posts were discovered.

The wellness brand owner is competing in series 18 of the business-style reality programme, which returns to screens on Thursday on BBC One, for Lord Alan Sugar’s £250,000 investment.

A spokesperson for The Apprentice said: “After filming had taken place, we were made aware of concerns over social media posts that Asif had made after he had left the process.

“As soon as we were alerted, we took immediate action and spoke to Asif in detail on this.

“Asif took part in specialised training to understand why his posts may cause offence.

“We are committed to providing an inclusive environment on and off screen.”

In a statement, Munaf said: “I apologise for any offence caused by my online content/social media.

“It was not my intention to offend anyone, and I am of course open to all views.

“The beliefs I hold and have shared are based on the values that I was brought up with.”

He has also denied allegations of antisemitism on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday.

Munaf is one of 18 entrepreneurs on The Apprentice in the latest series and has appeared on Dragons’ Den, where he sought a £50,000 investment for a 10 per cent stake in his company Date Smoothie.

He was told by Dragon panel member Touker Suleyman “you’re not a businessman” and entrepreneur Peter Jones told him he would “rather” he saved lives by staying in his profession as a doctor before he also declared himself “out” in 2018.

In September, the BBC published new guidance on social media which said that employees must not bring the corporation “into disrepute” and are required to be respectful in public.

Lord Sugar, along with other flagship presenters such as Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker, face additional requirements including having “expectations on impartiality”.

They are not allowed to make attacks on political parties or criticise the character of individual politicians in the UK.

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