UK's Lord Ahmed resigns from Labour Party

AP News
Posted: May 13, 2013 6:00 PM

LONDON (AP) — A member of Britain's House of Lords quit the Labour Party on Monday, two days before he was due to face a hearing over allegations he made anti-Semitic remarks in a television interview.

Nazir Ahmed was suspended from the Labour Party in March following a report that he blamed a Jewish conspiracy for his 2009 prison sentence for dangerous driving.

Ahmed had insisted he did not recall making the alleged comments to an Urdu-language broadcaster in Pakistan, but was due to appear before Labour's National Executive Committee on Wednesday about the accusations.

His lawyer Stephen Smith said he did not think Ahmed would have received a fair trial from the Labour panel, and the party confirmed Monday that Ahmed had resigned. He remains a member of the House of Lords.

The alleged remarks came to light when the Times of London said it had obtained footage of an Urdu-language TV interview where Ahmed blamed his 12-week prison sentence on pressure put on courts by Jewish-owned media organization.

The controversy came a year after Ahmed was suspended from the Labour Party amid reports he offered a bounty for the capture of President Barack Obama — comments he denied.