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Tories think they’ve spotted a Labour weakness – and are scouring for opportunities | Politics News

The Conservative campaign is seeking Labour candidates’ comments about Israel and Gaza following the suspension of two MP-hopefuls last week after their comments about the Middle East. 

Labour figures concede that last week’s ultimate suspension of Azhar Ali and Graham Jones over their comments made at a private meeting with community activists was painful, as the options were more finely balanced, but insist the right decisions were ultimately arrived at.

The full story behind the leak is revealed today on the Politics at Jack and Sam’s podcast.

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This comes in the week the SNP look to cause more pain for Keir Starmer by making MPs vote on a motion for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Tory strategists believe they have identified weaknesses in Labour’s decision-making process which they want to exploit, after it took 48 hours to suspend Mr Ali.

The Tories were taken by surprise how the suspension was not sooner, and they believe the story became unexpectedly bigger as a result.

Labour only took the decision to abandon the campaign in the Rochdale by-election after a second round of comments came to light on Monday.

The delay was because Mr Ali had strong backing from Jewish Labour figures, and to abandon the seat could result in ex-Labour MP George Galloway winning.

Senior Tories think that Labour has not sorted an effective decision-making structure, since Morgan McSweeney – who runs Labour’s campaign – does not have the same scope of decision-making as his Tory counterpart Isaac Levido.

They point to the 2016 Remain campaigns and 2017 Tory campaign as elections where decision-making was spread among too many people and ultimately went wrong.

A large number of people were involved in the Mr Ali decision, including Mr McSweeney, chief of staff Sue Gray and Angela Rayner, the deputy leader.

Tory strategists are now scouring to find opportunities to join meetings where similar remarks may have been made.

One Tory said it is much easier to infiltrate Zoom meetings, since people can join with their cameras off and a made up name.

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All the candidates in Rochdale

  • Azhar Ali – Independent, formerly Labour
  • Paul Ellison – Conservative
  • Iain Donaldson – Liberal Democrats
  • Simon Danczuk – Reform UK
  • George Galloway – Workers Party of Britain
  • Reverend Mark Coleman – Independent
  • Michael Howarth – Independent
  • David Anthony Tully – Independent
  • William Howarth – Independent
  • Guy Otten – Green Party, stepped down
  • Ravin Rodent Subortna – Official Monster Raving Loony Party

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