UK’s Labour disowns candidate who said Israel wanted Oct. 7 as pretext to invade Gaza

Britain’s opposition Labour Party disowned an election candidate who claimed that Israel allowed Hamas’s brutal October 7 massacres to happen as a pretext to invade Gaza.

Azhar Ali was selected to run for Labour in a special election for the House of Commons seat representing Rochdale, a constituency in northwest England. Soon after, a newspaper published remarks he had made during a local party meeting last year.

Ali apologized, and senior Labour figures called the comments “totally unacceptable,” but the party did not immediately suspend him. After increasing pressure, Labour said that while it was too late to replace Ali on the ballot, the party had “withdrawn its support” for him.

“We understand that these are highly unusual circumstances, but it is vital that any candidate put forward by Labour fully represents its aims and values,” the party said in a statement.

The October 7 massacres saw thousands of Hamas terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing over 250 hostages, mostly civilians. Entire families were executed in their homes, and over 360 people were slaughtered at an outdoor festival, many amid horrific acts of brutality by the terrorists.

Ali was suspended from Labour pending an investigation, meaning that he would sit as an independent lawmaker, if he is elected. The party cannot now replace Ali as the nominations have closed.

Since taking the helm of Labour in 2020, leader Keir Starmer has steered the social democratic party back toward the political middle ground after the divisive tenure of predecessor Jeremy Corbyn, a staunch socialist who advocated nationalization of key industries and infrastructure.


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