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Peer resigns from Labour Party

A peer has resigned from the Labour Party 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 a Jewish conspiracy for his dangerous driving jail term.

Lord Ahmed insists he does not recall making the alleged comments. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images

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 Labour Party in March after The Times (£) reported that he blamed his 2009 prison sentence - for sending text messages shortly before his car was involved in a fatal crash - on pressure placed on the courts by a Jewish conspiracy "who own newspapers and TV channels".

Peer's solicitors want 'unedited transcript' of interview

Lord Ahmed's solicitors Wilford Smith have said there will be no comment issued on the Labour peer's suspension from the party until they have received a full unedited transcript of the comments the peer is alleged to have made.

The Times, which has published video footage which it claims shows Lord Ahmed making anti-Jewish remarks during a television interview in Pakistan, earlier said a transcript had been sent to Lord Ahmed's solicitor, at the peer's request.

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Labour peer faced party suspension last year

Lord Ahmed joined the Labour Party in his teens and was made a life peer in 1998. Credit: Dave Higgens/PA Archive

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 'claims Jewish friends pressured courts'

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.

Labour peer suspended after alleged anti-Jewish claims

Lord Ahmed was jailed for sending texts shortly before his car was involved in a fatal crash. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Labour peer Lord Ahmed has been suspended by the party amid an investigation into claims that he blamed his jailing for dangerous driving on a Jewish conspiracy.

According to The Times, Lord Ahmed blamed his 12-week prison sentence on pressure placed on the courts by Jews "who own newspapers and TV channels".

The Muslim peer allegedly told an Urdu-language broadcast in Pakistan that the judge who jailed him was appointed to the High Court after helping a "Jewish colleague" of Tony Blair during an important case.

A Labour spokesman said: "The Labour Party deplores and does not tolerate any sort of anti-Semitism. Following reports in The Times today we are suspending Lord Ahmed pending an investigation."

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Lord Ahmed denies offering a 'bounty'

Lord Ahmed has firmly denied offering a bounty. He said he told the meeting that Mr Bush and Tony Blair should be prosecuted for war crimes.

They have suspended me? That's a surprise to me. I did not know. I did not offer a bounty. I said that there have been war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan and those people who have got strong allegations against them - George W Bush and Tony Blair have been involved in illegal wars and should be brought to justice. I do not think there's anything wrong with that... If the Labour Party want to suspend me I will deal with the Labour Party. They will have to give me some evidence.

– LORD AHMED

Alleged 'bounty' comments 'totally unacceptable'

If these comments are accurate we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable. The international community is rightly doing all in its power to seek justice for the victims of the Mumbai bombings and halt terrorism.

– Labour Party statement

Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper says the remarks were made at a reception in Haripur on Friday.

It claims the peer called the US bounty on Saeed "an insult to all Muslims".

Peer suspended over Obama 'bounty'

Lord Ahmed
Lord Ahmed Credit: Reuters

Labour peer Lord Ahmed has been suspended by the party while it investigates reports that he offered a £10 million "bounty" for the capture of US president Barack Obama.

He was said to have offered the cash for the capture of Mr Obama and White House predecessor George Bush at a reception in Pakistan in response to an American reward for the capture of a prominent Pakistani radical.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who founded the violent extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, is blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed.

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