Senior regional Conservative Party official suspended amid anti-Semitism allegations

THE deputy chairman of the Bradford Conservative Association has been suspended by his party amid allegations of anti-Semitism, discrimination, misogyny, and clan politics.

Abdul Zaman is accused of making inappropriate comments during a speech to start Tory candidate Sajid Akhtar’s campaign for election to Bradford Council in the Heaton ward.

Bradford West Labour MP Naz Shah has written to Prime Minister David Cameron complaining about Mr Zaman’s speech which he made using Mirpuri dialect.

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Barry Whitaker, chairman of the Bradford Conservative Association, in a contrary statement insisted Mr Zaman had said nothing wrong but confirmed that the party had suspended him while an investigation was carried out.

In her letter to Mr Cameron, Ms Shah said she has “grave concerns” regarding Mr Zaman’s speech, and states: “Mr Zaman was speaking very passionately about clan politics, women, Jews and Christians and defying equality values whilst endorsing misogyny and anti-Semitism.”

Mr Whitaker said he was at the campaign event and heard Mr Zaman’s speech, although he presumably cannot himself understand Mirpuri as he said it was translated for him at the time.

Mr Whitaker said he had notified Conservative Central Office of what was going on, and added: “Because I do take these allegations seriously, I have suspended Abdul Zaman pending an inquiry into what he said and what he meant by what he said.

Continuing along the contrary path he added: “I am standing by him in spite of having suspended him. I am conducting a thorough investigation.”

Councillor Simon Cooke, leader of the Conservative group on Bradford Council, said: “We take allegations of this sort very seriously. I can confirm that Mr Zaman has been suspended from the party, subject to an investigation into the matter.”

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