A proper post *will* come tonight, but I had to say something about this.
Gerald Kaufman, my local MP, alleged in the Commons yesterday that Qassim Afzal, our parliamentary candidate in Manchester Gorton, for whom I voted and campaigned, went around personally telling Muslim voters not to vote for Kaufman because he’s Jewish.
Those allegations were made under Parliamentary Privilege, which means Sir Gerald does not have to worry about normal slander laws, and given the source I am disinclined to believe them. I do not consider Sir Gerald a trustworthy source.
However, they are *extraordinarily* serious allegations, and I just want to make clear that I never heard a *single word* about this during the election campaign. Had I heard of such behaviour I would have confronted Qas about it, and were I to have *believed* that such behaviour was happening I would have refused to campaign at all in that constituency, and would have voted for one of the small protest parties, while still remaining a member of the Liberal Democrats.
I am *ABSOLUTELY* against anti-Semitism in all its manifestations, and do not want any of the readers of this blog to believe that I went along with such behaviour. Qas is innocent until proven guilty of this, and I would be very surprised if Sir Gerald has any evidentiary basis for his claims. But I just wanted readers of this blog to be aware that I never even heard a whisper of such claims during the campaign itself. I am also certain that nor did any of our Council candidates, many of whom are active anti-discrimination campaigners.