Labour’s by-election candidate in Rochdale was “completely wrong” to say Israel deliberately allowed the 7 October massacre to give it the “green light” to invade Gaza, the party’s UK campaign coordinator has said.
But senior shadow frontbencher Pat McFadden told Sky News’ Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips confirmed Azhar Ali will still stand for the party when the vote takes place on 29 February.
It comes after Mr Ali’s remarks, contained in a secret recording, were published by The Mail On Sunday newspaper.
They have been condemned by the Jewish community and MPs.
Mr McFadden said “His comments were completely wrong. He should never have said something like that.
“He’s issued a complete apology and retraction and I hope he learns a good lesson from it because he should never have said something like that in the first place.”
Mr McFadden added: “It was wrong to say that you should never have said it, and it’s right that he is completely apologised now and he himself said it was wrong to say it and that’s the right thing to do.”
Mr Ali is defending a Labour majority of more than 9,000 in Rochdale on 29 February following the death of Sir Tony Lloyd last month.