Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, has come under fire for refusing to withdraw support for a candidate who blamed Israel for the October 7 massacre. Azhar Ali, the party's candidate for the Rochdale by-election, was caught on a secret recording claiming that Israel "allowed" terrorists to infiltrate its borders. Despite widespread outrage and calls for action, Sir Keir has chosen to stand by Ali.
Labour's decision to stand by Azhar Ali, despite his inflammatory remarks, has been criticized as an appeasement of anti-Semitism. In the secret recording obtained by the Mail on Sunday, Ali can be heard suggesting that Israel deliberately allowed the October 7 massacre to happen. The comments have sparked outrage and accusations of anti-Semitism.
No Support Withdrawn
Despite the controversy surrounding Azhar Ali's comments, Sir Keir Starmer has refused to withdraw support for him. Ali issued an "unreserved" apology after his comments were exposed, but it is now too late for him to be replaced as the Labour candidate for the Rochdale by-election. This has led to further criticism of Sir Keir and claims that the Labour Party is still backing a candidate with anti-Semitic views.
Calls for Action
The Campaign Against Antisemitism has expressed its disappointment that Labour is still supporting Azhar Ali's candidacy, despite his offensive remarks. Housing Secretary Michael Gove has called on Sir Keir Starmer to remove Ali from the Labour Party. Labour's National Campaign Coordinator, Pat McFadden, has also condemned Ali's comments as "completely wrong."
As of my last knowledge, in September 2021, this is the situation and the controversy surrounding Sir Keir Starmer's handling of a candidate who made anti-Semitic remarks. The decision to stand by Azhar Ali has sparked fury and accusations of appeasement of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.
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