Labour peer Lord Ahmed resigns from party over alleged anti-Semitic comments

  • @kunaldutta

The senior Labour peer Lord Ahmed resigned from the Labour Party on Monday evening over allegations that he made anti-Semitic comments in a television interview.

Lord Ahmed was due to appear before Labour's ruling National Executive Committee on Wednesday to answer accusations that he blamed a Jewish conspiracy for his dangerous driving jail term.

Last night he said he was “very disappointed” with Labour’s handling of the situation, insisting he did not want to “appear before any kangaroo court where the rules of justice had been denied”.

He insists he does not recall making the alleged comments, and his solicitor said he would not be able to receive a "fair trial" from the Labour panel. Last night a Labour party spokesman confirmed his resignation.

Lord Ahmed was suspended from the Labour Party in March amid reports that he blamed his 2009 prison sentence - for sending text messages shortly before his car was involved in a fatal crash - on pressure placed on the courts by Jews "who own newspapers and TV channels".

The Muslim peer allegedly told an Urdu-language broadcaster in Pakistan that the judge who jailed him for 12 weeks was appointed to the High Court after helping a "Jewish colleague" of Tony Blair. 

He later told the Huffington Post UK he could not "believe" it when he saw the reports of what he had said in a Pakistani television interview. He added that he was not anti-Semitic and said he did not have "any explanation or excuse" for his comments.