Calls for Labour to bar another parliamentary candidate over ‘unacceptable’ Israel comments

UK

There have been calls for another Labour party parliamentary candidate to be barred from standing for election after he allegedly referred to “f***ing Israel” at a meeting of activists.

Graham Jones, the former Labour MP for Hyndburn who lost his seat in 2019 and is seeking to stand again, is alleged to have said that UK citizens who volunteer to fight for the Israeli Defence Forces “should be locked up” and that it was “illegal” for them to fight for Israel, according to the website Guido Fawkes.

Mr Jones’s comments allegedly came at the same meeting of activists at which remarks were made by the now dropped Labour candidate for the Rochdale by-election Azhar Ali.

Labour was forced to disown Mr Ali after the comments emerged from a meeting of activists in which he claimed Israel allowed the Hamas atrocity of 7 October to happen in order to give it the “green light” to invade Gaza.

The party then chose to withdraw support for Mr Ali after further comments were published by the Daily Mail in which he allegedly blamed “people in the media from certain Jewish quarters” for fuelling criticism of a pro-Palestinian Labour MP, as well as claiming Israel planned to “get rid of [Palestinians] from Gaza” and “grab” some of the land.

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), a group that is affiliated with the party, said Mr Jones’s comments were “appalling and unacceptable”.

A spokesperson for JLM said: “We are dismayed that Jones was not only a bystander at the meeting where Azhar Ali made his antisemitic comments, but sought to inflame tensions further.

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“Over the past two days, the importance of a zero tolerance approach to antisemitism in Labour has become clearer than ever. Labour must stand Graham Jones down as a parliamentary candidate and conduct a disciplinary investigation.”

Sky News has contacted Mr Jones and the Labour Party for comment.

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