Lancashire councillor suspended over alleged antisemitic remarks

A councillor has been suspended after allegedly making antisemitic comments at a meeting.

Mohammed Iqbal, a Labour councillor in Lancashire, allegedly made the remarks in a council debate that discussed tensions between Israel and Palestine.

Mr Iqbal, the opposition leader for Pendle Council, revealed the suspension himself in a statement and denied being anti-Semitic.

A Labour Party spokeswoman said: “We don’t comment on individual cases”.

The comments were allegedly made during Pendle Council’s recent annual meeting, during which an emergency motion was put forward to fly the Palestinian flag above Nelson Town Hall.

Politicians from all sides spoke during the debate and unanimously supported the motion.

Mr Iqbal is alleged to have made comments comparing Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jewish people with more recent events in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world.

In a statement, Mr Iqbal said: “Following a complaint made against me to the Labour Party alleging recent comments I made in a council meeting were antisemitic, I have been suspended as a councillor until the matter is investigated.”

He added: “I wish to publicly state I am not antisemitic and have campaigned all my life against all forms of racism and sexism and will continue to do so.

“I will work with the Labour Party and anyone else to uphold the principal of everyone living side-by-side in peace and harmony.”

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