Azhar Ali's remarks tell us about the politics of Rochdale, claims senior Tory

Azhar Ali's remarks tell us about the politics of Rochdale, claims senior Tory
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 14/02/2024

- 09:27

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said the remarks by former Labour candidate Azhar Ali, tells us something about the politics of Rochdale and 'Labour's base in certain parts of the country'.

Speaking on GB News, Jacob Rees-Mogg said:

“Azhar Ali, the former Labour candidate for the upcoming election has been secretly recorded repeating one of the nastiest anti-Semitic attacks: that the Jewish people can try their own victimhood as a means of manipulation.

“The initial recording revealed by the Mail on Sunday said that he had reportedly said that they deliberately took the security off and they allowed that massacre and that gives them the green light to do whatever they want.

“He apologized later saying his remarks were deeply offensive, ignorant and false.

“The Labour Party initially stood by, and indeed defended, the candidate.

“Yesterday evening, the Mail produced an expanded recording which revealed him to be regurgitating yet another anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

“He blamed ‘people in the media from certain Jewish quarters’ for the suspension of Labour MP Andy McDonald.

“This fuller recording is the ostensible excuse for the party to withdraw its support for him. But because the deadline has passed it is too late to nominate another candidate, so Ali's name will remain on the ballot paper with the Labour Party's symbol accompanying it.

“Earlier this evening The Labour Party also suspended parliamentary candidate for Hyndburn for allegedly making comments at the same meeting, which included vulgar expletives about Israel and suggesting that Britons who fight for the Israeli Defence Force ought to be locked up.

“These developments seem to me to reveal something far broader than the character of Azhar Ali or Graham Jones. Mr Ali actually has a long standing record of opposition to Islamist extremism.

“This explains why the Jewish former MP Louise Ellman initially stood by him when his comments were first revealed, considering the fact that he was, in the past, known for opposing Islamic extremism and defending Jewish people against anti-Semitism.

“The fact that he was willing to make these remarks, these ones have been recorded and revealed to us, tells us something about the politics of Rochdale, surely, and perhaps more broadly, about Labour's base in certain parts of the country.

“What does this say about the state of multicultural Britain when anti-Semitism is considered an asset in a political candidate?”


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