A British political party has suspended one of its peers over his alleged claims that legal troubles were precipitated by a Jewish conspiracy against him.
In 2009 Lord Ahmed was jailed for 12 weeks for dangerous driving after sending and receiving text messages minutes before his car crashed into a stationary vehicle on the M1 near Sheffield on Christmas Day 2007.
In a subsequent interview last April Britain’s first male Muslim peer blamed the prison sentence on pressure placed on the courts by Jews “who own newspapers and TV channels”, The Times reported.
The 55-year-old allegedly told an Urdu-language broadcast in Pakistan that 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.
In the interview uncovered by the Times Lord Ahmed reportedly said:“My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this.”
A Labour spokesman said: “The Labour Party deplores and does not tolerate any sort of racism or antisemitism.
“Following reports in the Times today we are suspending Lord Ahmed pending an investigation.”
Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, British Jewry’s main representative body, told the Jewish Chronicle that Lord Ahmed should be expelled from the Labour Party if found guilty of his most recent offense “as such views should have no space in responsible political discourse”
“We are appalled by Lord Ahmed’s alleged comments which recall the worst Jewish conspiracy theories.
“However outlandish and incredible his allegations, there will always be gullible or malicious individuals or groups that will accept what he has said and add to the growth of antisemitic discourse,” he was quoted as saying.