Another Labour prospective candidate suspended by the party after anti-Israel recording emerges

Sir Keir Starmer is increasingly under pressure as second Labour candidate suspended over alleged Israel comments

Another prospective Labour candidate has been suspended by the party after he was recorded making anti-Israel comments, it is understood.

Graham Jones, the former MP for Hyndburn in Lancashire, had been selected by the party as the candidate to seek re-election for the seat in the upcoming General Election.

It is currently held by Conservative Sara Britcliffe.

Mr Jones, allegedly referred to "f***ing Israel" at a meeting, according to a leaked recording obtained by Guido Fawkes.

He also allegedly said that Britons who volunteer to fight for the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) "should be locked up". Mr Jones also falsely claimed that it is illegal for British citizens to do so.

The Hyndburn candidate is understood to have been administratively suspended from the party, pending an investigation, following the report from website Guido.

Labour would have to follow a formal process if the party wanted to strip him of his candidacy, but he is believed to have been called for an interview.

The latest row to emerge from the meeting of the Lancashire Labour Party came only hours after the Labour leader insisted the party had “changed” under his leadership, following the move to strip Mr Ali, who is believed to be suspended pending an investigation, of his party’s backing.

On Monday 12 February Labour withdrew its support for Rochdale by-election candidate Azhar Ali after he was recorded criticising Israel.

Mr Ali had apologised after he was recorded suggesting Israel had taken the 7 October Hamas assault as a pretext to invade Gaza.

Despite a backlash against the remarks, which were reported from the meeting of the Lancashire Labour Party by the Mail on Sunday, the party remained supportive of Mr Ali.

But, after pressure it withdrew its support, saying new information about further comments had changed the party position.

Speaking as he campaigned in Wellingborough, Sir Keir Starmer said: “Certain information came to light over the weekend in relation to the candidate. There was a fulsome apology.

"Further information came to light yesterday calling for decisive action, so I took decisive action.

“It is a huge thing to withdraw support for a Labour candidate during the course of a by-election.

“It’s a tough decision, a necessary decision, but when I say the Labour Party has changed under my leadership I mean it.”

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