Labour hit by second race row as Peer forced to quit party

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  By G.A.Ponsonby
 
The Labour party has been hit by a second race row within a week after a high ranking peer was forced to quit in a row over anti-semitic remarks.
 
Lord Ahmed resigned from the Labour Party this evening after he blamed a 12-week jail sentence for dangerous driving on a Jewish conspiracy.

The Labour peer was facing an internal hearing into remarks he made in a Pakistani television interview where he blamed Jews after receiving a prison sentence following the death of a man in 2007.

The peer had been sending text messages from his mobile phone just before his car was in a collision that killed a 28 year old father of two.

Martyn Gombar, a 28-year-old Slovakian, was killed on Christmas Day in 2007 after his stationary car was hit by Lord Ahmed’s Jaguar on the M1 near Sheffield.  A lengthy police investigation discovered that the peer sent and received a series of five substantial text messages while travelling at up to 70mph during an 18-mile journey on the motorway.

According to the Times newspaper, in his TV interview, Lord Ahmed alleged that Jewish-owned media organisations placed pressure on the courts to charge him with a more serious offence. “My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians.  My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this,”

In a resignation statement, Lord Ahmed said: “I have been considering my position over the weekend and have concluded that I should resign from the membership of the party forthwith.”

He was suspended from the Labour party for three months last year over reports that he offered a $10m (£6.5m) “bounty” for the capture of the US president, Barack Obama, and his White House predecessor, George W Bush.

The decision to resign comes just over a week after a prominent Labour party blogger caused outrage after using a racist term in a tweet.

Ian Smart, who is also a regular BBC Scotland political pundit, claimed that Scottish independence could result in ‘Poles and Pakis’ being targeted by Scots if the economy did not improve.

The pro-Union blogger and former head of the Law Society of Scotland compounded the tweet by then comparing the SNP to the racist Ku Klux Klan.

Despite widespread outrage, which included public condemnation of his comments from his own brother, Mr Smart refused to apologise.