New anti- Semitism row over Labour bid to oust Boris as MP

The Mail on Sunday - - Femail - By Bren­dan Car­lin PO­LIT­I­CAL CORRESPONDENT

JEREMY Cor­byn is fac­ing calls to block the se­lec­tion of an ‘ an­ti­Semitic’ can­di­date as Labour’s hope­ful to un­seat Boris John­son.

The Labour leader was urged to in­ter­vene to pre­vent lo­cal party mem­bers pick­ing Ali Mi­lani for the cov­eted job of fight­ing Mr John­son in his Uxbridge seat.

The row erupted af­ter Mr Mi­lani won through to the short­list for the Labour nom­i­na­tion de­spite a record of anti-Semitic re­marks made when he was a teenager.

Mr Mi­lani, a vice-pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Union of Stu­dents, has pre­vi­ously sparked out­rage by say­ing ‘Is­rael has no right to ex­ist’.

He has also al­legedly sug­gested Jewish peo­ple are mean, with a tweeted re­ply in 2012 that read: ‘Nah, you won’t mate. It’ll cost u a pound. #jew.’

Last ni ght, cam­paign group Labour Against An­tisemitism called on Mr Cor­byn to in­ter­vene to block Mr Mi­lani. Spokesman Euan Philipps said: ‘It is out­ra­geous that a per­son such as Mr Mi­lani could be se­lected to stand as a Labour parliamentary can­di­date when his ap­palling be­hav­iour is on pub­lic record. He has a well-doc­u­mented history of pub­licly mak­ing of­fen­sive com­ments that draw on clas­sic anti-Semitic tropes to abuse and dis­crim­i­nate against Jews.’

Labour ac­tivists have be­come in­creas­ingly con­fi­dent that Mr Cor­byn’s pop­u­lar­ity in Lon­don puts Mr John­son’ s 5,034 ma­jor­ity in Uxbridge and South Ruis­lip within reach at the next Elec­tion.

But some crit­ics in the party were yes­ter­day ap­palled to learn that the favourite to win the Labour nom­i­na­tion was Mr Mi­lani.

They seized on re­marks widely re­ported last year where he chal­lenged the state of Is­rael’s right to ex­ist. In 2013, he said: ‘I want to be the Pres­i­dent of Is­rael. They have a self-de­struct but­ton, right?’

Last night, Labour made it clear it would not in­ter­vene, stress­ing that Mr Mi­lani had pre­vi­ously apol­o­gised for his com­ments. Mr Mi­lani said: ‘I have and al­ways will un­re­servedly apol­o­gise for the com­ments I made as a teenager.’

‘OF­FEN­SIVE’: Ali Mi­lani

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