UK MP resigns over accusations of anti-Semitism

Lord Nazir Ahmed quits Labor party a day ahead of a hearing over alleged anti-Jewish slurs.

May 14, 2013 07:40
1 minute read.
Britain's Lord Nazir Ahmed

Lord Nazir Ahmed 370. (photo credit: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / Reuters)

British politician Lord Nazir Ahmed resigned on Tuesday, a day ahead of a scheduled hearing over accusations that he blamed his dangerous driving jail term on a Jewish conspiracy.

The Labor MP was suspended in March after The Times of London quoted him as saying that his prison sentence was a result of pressure applied on the court by Jews “who own newspapers and television channels.”

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According to the Telegraph, Lord Ahmed has insisted that he does not recall making the comments, but said in his resignation letter that he did not feel he would get a fair hearing and therefore was left with no choice but to resign. The MP was scheduled to appear before Labor's ruling National Executive Committee over the matter.

The 55-year-old, who became one of the first Muslim peers in the UK after former prime minister Tony Blair appointed him in 1998, was jailed in 2009 after he killed another motorist when sending a series of text messages while driving.

"I don't want to appear before any kangaroo court where the rules of justice have been denied. All I want is any evidence in front of me so I can look at it and defend myself. I can't defend myself if there is no evidence produced," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

He and his lawyer Stepheh Smith called for the Times to release footage of an interview in which he allegedly claimed that the judge in the case was appointed after he helped a “Jewish colleague” of Blair's during an important case.

Despite reportedly denying recollection of his comments, in March Lord Ahmed apologized for the remarks. He told The Huffington Post that he had the “greatest respect for the Jewish community and that his comments were “completely wrong”, “unacceptable” and “the product of a twisted mind.”

Jonny Paul, Jerusalem Post correspondent, contributed to this report

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