A Rotherham peer has resigned from the Labour Party claiming he's the victim of a conspiracy to discredit him. Lord Ahmed is accused of making anti Jewish statements, something he strenuously denies. He says he was not given the chance of a fair hearing. Paul Burland reports.
Lord Ahmed - who has resigned from the Labour Party - said he was "very disappointed" with the way he had been treated by Labour.
"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."
"I don't want my friends in the Labour to think that I have walked away but the rules of justice demand it. It's very unfortunate."
Lord Ahmed said he had "never been anti-semitic" and had "unreservedly apologised" for any offence caused to the Jewish community.
He added his "heart" is still with the Labour Party.
The Rotherham peer was due to face a hearing over allegations he made anti-Semitic comments in a TV interview.
A Rotherham peer caught up in a race row has resigned from the Labour Party.
He handed in his resignation days before he was due to face a hearing over allegations that he made anti-Semitic comments in a TV interview.
Lord Ahmed was due to appear before Labour's ruling National Executive Committee on Wednesday to answer accusations that he blamed Jewish people for his dangerous driving jail term.
He insists he does not recall making the alleged comments, and his solicitor Stephen Smith said he would not be able to receive a "fair trial" from the Labour panel.
A Labour Party spokesman said: "I can confirm that he has resigned from the party."
Lord Ahmed was suspended from the party in March after reports he blamed his prison sentence in 2009 - 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 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.
Mr Smith questioned the reliability of the evidence against Lord Ahmed, saying: "The evidence is flawed, in my view it is unreliable and yet they seem to be accepting it as right. In those circumstances I don't think he can get a fair trial."
Lord Ahmed added that he did not "really have any explanation or excuse" for why he made the comments and said he was "embarrassed".
– Lord Ahmed speaking to the The Huffington Post
I only believe in facts and to be honest I should have stuck with the facts rather than with conspiracy theories.
According to the website he also apologised for embarrassing Labour leader Ed Miliband.
– Lord Ahmed speaking to the The Huffington Post
He's of the Jewish faith and I'm sorry that I embarrassed him - or anybody else in the Labour Party. I'm particularly sorry to all my colleagues in the House of Lords and in the House of Commons because one thing many of them know is that I'm not anti-Semitic or a conspiracy theorist.
Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, suspended from the Labour Party over allegations that he blamed Jewish people for his jail term for dangerous driving, has "completely and unreservedly" apologised for his comments.
Lord Ahmed is said to have been caught on camera blaming 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".
In an interview with the Huffington Post he has rowed back from the comments, describing them as "completely wrong" and "unacceptable". The peer said he could not believe the video when he saw it and said the statement was the product of a "twisted mind", according to the website.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has strongly condemned the anti-Jewish comments attributed to Lord Ahmed, reportedly made in a television interview in Pakistan last year, after his party confirmed it had suspended the peer.
Lord Ahmed, 55, was freed by the Court of Appeal after serving 16 days of his 12-week prison sentence in 2009 for dangerous driving.
The Pakistan-born property developer later supported an AA/Populus poll into mobile phone use among motorists, saying he had "learnt the hard way" about the problem.
The peer was suspended from the Labour Party for three months last year over reports he offered a $10 million (£6.7 million) "bounty" for the capture of Barack Obama and George Bush.
Lord Ahmed denied having made the comments, published in a Pakistani newspaper, and was reinstated after an investigation by Labour Lords Chief Whip Lord Bassam.
Lord Ahmed was sentenced in 2009 after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, having sent and received text messages in the build up to a fatal crash on the M1 near Sheffield on Christmas Day in 2007.
The final message was sent two minutes before his Jaguar struck the stationary car of 28-year-old Slovakian Martyn Gombar.
No causal link was made between the text messages and Mr Gombar's death, though.
The Times said it gained four separate Urdu-English translations to verify Lord Ahmed's comments during a television interview, which it said were thought to have been made in April last year during his visit to Pakistan. The newspaper claims the peer is seen saying:
I was charged with a traffic offence, for texting while driving. A traffic offence, dangerous driving, and it should have gone to the magistrates court.
My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this.
Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer, from our region has strenuously denied offering a ten million pound bounty for the capture of US President Barack Obama.
Lord Ahmed of Rotherham was quoted as making the remarks by a newspaper in Pakistan - and he's been suspended by his party.
He claims it is fabrication.
A Labour peer has denied offering a ten million pound bounty for the capture of US President Barack Obama. Lord Ahmed of Rotherham was quoted as making the remarks by a newspaper in Pakistan - which has led to his suspension by the Labour Party.