Labour criticised for backing Rochdale candidate after ‘offensive’ Israel remark

Support for Azhar Ali in looming byelection is a failure to tackle antisemitism, says leading campaigner

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Labour is facing criticism for standing by a parliamentary candidate who has been forced to apologise for suggesting that Israel allowed Hamas’s 7 October attacks to take place to provide grounds to invade Gaza.

The comments made by Azhar Ali, the party’s candidate in the Rochdale byelection, have threatened to reignite the damaging row over antisemitism in the Labour party that blighted Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

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