• Lord Ahmed was jailed in 2009 for dangerous driving after texting minutes before a fatal crash
  • Interview emerges where he links his prosecution to Jewish-owned media
  • Labour condemns anti-Semitism and suspends 55-year-old form the party

By
Matt Chorley, Mailonline Political Editor

09:48, 14 March 2013


|

11:45, 14 March 2013

Labour peer Lord Ahmed has been suspended by the party over reports that he blamed a Jewish conspiracy for his jail sentence

Labour peer Lord Ahmed has been suspended by the party over reports that he blamed a Jewish conspiracy for his jail sentence

The Labour party today suspended one of its peers over claims he blamed a Jewish conspiracy for being jailed for dangerous driving.

Lord Ahmed was imprisoned for three months for sending texts minutes before his car was involved in a fatal crash on the M1.

But Britain’s first male Muslim peer has blamed his prison sentence on pressure placed on the courts by Jews ‘who own newspapers and TV channels’, The Times reported.

The 55-year-old allegedly told an Urdu-language broadcast in Pakistan that the judge who jailed him for 12 weeks was appointed to the High Court after helping a ‘Jewish colleague’ of Tony Blair during an important case.

As the controversy emerged, the Labour party moved to suspend him from the party and condemned ‘any sort of anti-Semitism’. Labour leader Ed Miliband is Jewish.

In 2009 Lord Ahmed of Rotherham admitted in court sending and receiving five messages at 60mph on the M1.

The last was sent two minutes before the former magistrate’s Jaguar speeded into Slovakian father-of-two Martyn Gombar, 28, who died.

Sentencing Ahmed, 51, at Sheffield Crown Court, Mr Justice Wilkie accepted his texting had not caused the crash.

But he said the ‘prolonged, deliberate and highly dangerous driving’ of the peer meant only jail time could be justified.

According to the Times, Lord Ahmed used an interview to claim it should have been sentenced by a magistrate.

‘My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians,’ he said.

‘My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this.’

He claimed that Jewish-owned media groups put pressure on the courts to charge him with a more serious offence.

He also alleged Mr Justice Wilkie rose to prominence during Tony Blair’s premiership in ‘an important case involving a Jewish colleague of ours’.

The interview, given during a visit to Pakistan, is thought to have been aired in April last year.

Today a Labour spokesman said: ‘The Labour Party deplores and does not tolerate any sort of anti-Semitism. Following reports in The Times today we are suspending Lord Ahmed pending an investigation.’

Labour party leader Ed Miliband, pictured in the Commons yesterday, has suspended Lord Ahmed

Labour party leader Ed Miliband, pictured in the Commons yesterday, has suspended Lord Ahmed

In 2009 Lord Ahmed was jailed for 12 weeks
for dangerous driving after sending and receiving text messages minutes
before his car crashed into a stationary vehicle on the M1 near
Sheffield on Christmas Day 2007.

He was freed by the Court of Appeal
after serving only 16 days of his prison sentence and later supported an
AA/Populus poll into mobile phone use among motorists, saying he had ‘learnt the hard way’ about the problem.

He joined the Labour Party in his teens and was made a life peer in 1998.

Lord Ahmed was suspended from the Labour Party for three months last year over reports that he offered a 10 million-dollar ‘bounty’ for the capture of US President Barack Obama and his White House predecessor, George Bush.

The peer denied having made the comments, published in a Pakistani newspaper, and was reinstated after an investigation by Labour Lords Chief Whip Lord Bassam after it was found he had been misquoted.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

All driving offences seem to be lenient today.

Robert Esquire
,

Tamworth, United Kingdom,
14/3/2013 11:25

Moron, we do not need or want people like this holding any position of power in our country.

Sharon
,

Longfield,
14/3/2013 11:24

This matter SHOULD be reported to the police as a race crime as I’m sure it would if the boot was on the other foot. It will be interesting to see how this matter progresses, if at all.

bavarianpete
,

Altenau,
14/3/2013 11:21

MUPPET!

kippers for me
,

Essex,
14/3/2013 11:18

Can this be so? We thought only the white, British, could be accused of racist/religious remarks! And did someone else make adverse comment about the ‘white or black’ smoke signalling the appointment of a Pope?

Peter
,

Sutton, United Kingdom,
14/3/2013 11:17

He was texting whilst driving. That makes it HIS fault. Why can’t he take responsibility for his own actions?

Weena
,

norwich, United Kingdom,
14/3/2013 11:13

Will the Commission for Racial Equality investigate and if proved charge him? No. Why not? Because the “offence” if true occurred outside the UK in Pakistan. Hypocracy rules, OK?

ian
,

maidstone,
14/3/2013 10:40

Perhaps his Lordship might like to spend time representing the interests of the British public rather than taking trips abroad to Pakistan and Gaza to represent those who owe us nothing.

Gravemind
,

Gravesend,
14/3/2013 10:25

If I had been the Judge I would have jailed him for more than 12 weeks so I think he was lucky.This Jewish conspiracy theory is just typical of these arrogant men who think they are above the law.!Texting whilst driving is one of the most stupid things you can do.

Yamahaian
,

Brighton,
14/3/2013 10:00

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