Photo Credit: Aiza Rashid
Azhar Ali with constituents (maybe), January 27, 2024.

A by-election will take place on February 29 in the British Parliament’s constituency of Rochdale, following the death of Labour MP Sir Tony Lloyd. Now, the Labour Party withdrew its support for its candidate, one Azhar Ali, after the Sunday Mail reported that he told a campaign audience that Israel deliberately allowed 1,400 of its citizens to be massacred on October 7.

“They deliberately took the security off. They allowed that massacre that gives them the green light to do whatever they bloody want,” he said, meaning to invade Gaza.


Ali apologized “unreservedly” for his comment, but it was too late since Labour’s Shadow minister Nick Thomas-Symonds had rushed to tell the press that Ali’s comment was “completely wrong,” and “in no way represents” Labour’s views.

Ali tweeted the following in an attempt to cover his faux pas:

“October 7th was the greatest loss of Jewish life in a single day since the Holocaust, and Jews in the UK and across the world are living in fear of rising antisemitism. I will urgently apologize to Jewish leaders for my inexcusable comments.”

It was followed by:

“I apologize 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.”

So, with so many apologies, why is Labour insisting on looking for someone else to represent Rochdale? A Labour spokesman said they had “new information about further comments made by Azhar Ali coming to light today,” but he offered no details.

Here’s the thing: it’s too late to take down Labour’s logo from Azhar Ali’s name on the ballots. suggested that should he win, Ali would be an independent MP, at least to start.

Ali’s official bio says he has been active in community work since the age of 17 and always wanted the opportunity to serve people and help others. He started his political career as the leader of the Students Union at Nelson and Colne College. At 24, he joined Pendle Council, working his way up to leader from 2000 to 2003. As leader of Pendle Council, he was voted by other council leaders to be Chairman of the North West Regional Assembly. He then served a five-year stint as a government advisor, serving under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. In 2013, he became a county councilor before taking the position of Labour leader for Lancashire County Council.

Or not.


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