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Rochdale MP candidate loses Labour support


Labour has retracted its endorsement of their candidate for the Rochdale by-election and imposed a party suspension on him following his involvement in a controversy related to anti-Semitism.

Sir Keir Starmer has maintained his support for Azhar Ali, despite increasing criticism from the Jewish community and within his party. Mr. Ali asserted that Israel intentionally allowed Hamas to carry out a slaughter of its civilians on October 7th as a means to justify an attack on Gaza.

Following the emergence of additional remarks on Monday, the leader of the Labour Party was compelled to reverse his position. It is believed that Mr Ali has been suspended from the party while an investigation takes place.

Labour's candidate for the February 29 Rochdale by-election cannot be removed as it is now impossible to modify the ballot after the closure of nominations.

While he will officially retain his status as the Labour candidate, he will probably promptly lose his party's support if he emerges victorious, thus becoming an independent Member of Parliament.

Labour is essentially admitting defeat in the Greater Manchester constituency, where it currently holds a majority of almost 9,000.

The party had earlier pledged to continue advocating for Mr Ali following his apology for alleging that Israel facilitated the massacre of its citizens on October 7th.


However, on Monday night, a representative from the Labour Party stated that due to the emergence of additional remarks made by Azhar Ali, the party has decided to retract its endorsement of him as our candidate in the Rochdale by-election. Keir Starmer has transformed the Labour Party to the point where it is no longer recognised as the same party it was in 2019. Given the unique circumstances, any candidate the Labour Party must nominate accurately embodies its goals and values. Since the nominations have been closed, it is not possible to substitute Azhar Ali as the candidate.

Before the release of the statement, it was revealed that the party had received an official complaint about Mr Ali's remarks from the director of the Labour Against Anti-Semitism campaign group.

The non-affiliated organisation informed Sky News that Sir Keir Starmer has made significant advancements in combating anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. However, this incident highlights the necessity for more action to prevent it from escalating into a more substantial issue.

On Monday night, the Daily Mail published an audio recording purportedly exposing additional statements made by Mr Ali, which were made concurrently with his previously disclosed comments regarding the October 7 assault.

According to reports, he alleged that Israel intended to seize more territory in Gaza and held Jewish individuals in the media responsible for inciting criticism against Andy McDonald, the Labour MP who was suspended for invoking the slogan "between the river and the sea."

The Jewish Labour Movement affirmed that it was "accurate" that Mr Ali would be disqualified from becoming a Labour MP.

The Jewish Labour Movement promptly retracted its support and cancelled its campaign activities upon learning of Ali's remarks. Given the further information and subsequent comments made by Ali, it is appropriate for the Labour Party to halt all campaigning on his behalf. Since he cannot be disqualified from the ballot, we believe that he will not serve as a Labour MP if elected.

Subsequently, it was revealed that Mr Ali had advocated for an investigation into probable war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza.

In a correspondence addressed to Sir Keir following the Hamas attacks, he aligned himself with approximately 40 Labour councillors in condemning Israel for a clear transgression of international law through the use of "collective punishment" against Palestinians.

The individuals who signed the statement expressed their profound unease at observing the continuous and intense attacks on Gaza. They denounced the historical injustice of the unlawful occupation of Palestinian territory.

According to local sources, the petition called upon the United Nations and International Criminal Court to designate impartial arbitrators to evaluate the credibility of evidence about war crimes. Additionally, the letter asserted the existence of indisputable evidence of Israeli military cruelty in the West Bank.

According to LancsLive and the Lancashire Post, the councillors' letter, which they received in October, stated that the locals have been extremely upset by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The tragedy unfolding in Gaza and Israel has been profoundly disconcerting. Amid the continuous and intense attacks in Gaza, there is indisputable evidence of Israeli military cruelty in the West Bank. We strongly affirm the significance of adhering to international law. We strongly denounce any activities that result in the death of innocent individuals. The clear condemnation of Israel's flagrant breach of international law, specifically regarding the withholding of vital resources like food, water, and fuel, is imperative. It is wrong to subject 2.2 million Palestinians to collective punishment. The user's text is empty.

The letter emphasised the urgent need for a ceasefire, the release of hostages, and the recognition that true peace can only be attained by addressing the historical injustice of the unlawful possession of Palestinian territory.

Labour previously stated that Mr Ali's allegations, suggesting that Israel intentionally allowed Hamas to kill 1,200 civilians, were inconsistent with his usual behaviour.

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