Labour ditches Rochdale by-election candidate over offensive Israel claims

Labour has withdrawn its help for a by-election candidate who prompt Israel intentionally allowed its residents to be killed so it might invade Gaza.

Azhar Ali had apologised after a recording emerged of him claiming it had let Hamas conduct the October 7 bloodbath as a pretext for battle. But Labour has introduced it’s now not backing his marketing campaign to change into the MP for Rochdale forward of a by-election on February 29.

A occasion spokesman mentioned: “Following new details about additional feedback made by Azhar Ali coming to gentle at this time, the Labour Party has withdrawn its help for Azhar Ali as our candidate within the Rochdale by-election.

Keir Starmer has modified Labour in order that it’s unrecognisible from the occasion of 2019. We perceive that these are extremely uncommon circumstances however it’s important that any candidate put ahead by Labour totally represents its goals and values. Given that nominations have now closed Azhar Ali can’t be changed because the candidate.”

His feedback, which emerged this weekend, have been made at a gathering of the Lancashire Labour Party quickly after the October 7 assaults.

Mr Ali mentioned: “The Egyptians are saying that they warned Israel ten days earlier… Americans warned them a day earlier than [that] there’s one thing taking place… They intentionally took the safety off, they allowed… that bloodbath that provides them the inexperienced gentle to do no matter they bloody need.”

On the tape he also said that Mr Starmer had “misplaced the arrogance” of Labour MPs over the party’s reluctance to back a ceasefire.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews had described the remarks as “disgraceful and unforgivable”.

In a statement issued at the weekend before he was removed as the candidate, Mr Ali said: “I apologise unreservedly to the Jewish community for my comments which were deeply offensive, ignorant, and false. Hamas’ horrific terror attack was the responsibility of Hamas alone, and they are still holding hostages who must be released.

“October 7 was the best lack of Jewish life in a single day for the reason that Holocaust, and Jews within the UK and the world over reside in concern of rising antisemitism. I’ll urgently apologise to Jewish leaders for my inexcusable feedback.”

Mr Ali was selected last month to defend Labour’s 9,668 majority in Rochdale, following the death of veteran MP Sir Tony Lloyd.

It is understood he has now been suspended from Labour pending a party investigation. As the deadline for nominations has already passed, Mr Ali will still appear on ballot papers as Labour’s candidate. He is expected to be blocked from taking the Labour whip if he is elected.