'There's no place for anti-Semitism in the Labour party': Ed Miliband condemns Lord Ahmed over claims he blamed imprisonment on 'Jewish conspiracy'

 

Whitehall Editor

Labour today suspended one of its Muslim peers after he appeared to blame a Jewish conspiracy for his imprisonment for dangerous driving.

In an television interview recorded for an Urdu-language station in Pakistan Lord Ahmed blamed his 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”.

He then added that the judge who jailed him for 12 weeks was appointed to the High Court after helping a “Jewish colleague” of Tony Blair during an important case.

Following publication of his remarks Labour said it was spending Lord Ahmed pending an investigation.

The Labour leader Ed Miliband later said: “I think that the comments reported by Lord Ahmed are disgraceful comments.

“There's no place for anti-semitism in the Labour Party, and frankly anybody who makes those kinds of comments cannot be either a Labour lord or a Labour member of Parliament.”

Lord Ahmed was suspended from the Labour Party for three months last year over reports that he offered a 10 million-dollar “bounty” for the capture of US President Barack Obama and his White House predecessor, George Bush.

The peer denied having made the comments, published in a Pakistani newspaper, and was reinstated after an investigation by Labour Lords Chief Whip Lord Bassam.

Pakistan-born property developer Lord Ahmed, 55, joined the Labour Party in his teens and was made a life peer in 1998.

In 2009 he was jailed for 12 weeks for dangerous driving after sending and receiving text messages minutes before his car crashed into a stationary vehicle on the M1 near Sheffield on Christmas Day 2007.

He was freed by the Court of Appeal after serving only 16 days of his prison sentence and saying he had “learnt the hard way” about the problem of texting and driving.

But The Times obtained video and audio of an Urdu-language TV interview, believed to have been broadcast in April last year, in which he discussed the decision to sentence him at Sheffield Crown Court, rather than a magistrates' court with lesser sentencing powers.

He allegedly said: “My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss