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Rochdale by-election: Labour's handling of Azhar Ali row 'shambolic', inquiry head says

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Labour’s handling of the row over its Rochdale by-election candidate’s comments about Israel has been “shambolic”, the lawyer who led a review into the party’s culture has said.

Martin Forde KC said MPs within the party feel there has been a “disparity in treatment” of allegations of antisemitism following the leadership’s rowback in support for Azhar Ali.

Labour withdrew backing for Mr Ali after the Daily Mail reported that he had blamed “people in the media from certain Jewish quarters” for fuelling criticism of a pro-Palestinian MP.

Mr Forde, whose 2022 inquiry found that both left and right wings of the party had used antisemitism as a factional weapon under former leader Jeremy Corbyn, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “If you want a fair and transparent system then it has to deal with people consistently.” Try MEN Premium now for FREE...

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