Rochdale By Election Analysis

Ben, thank you very much for joining me here on the show. Is it a bit of a disappointment that given that your candidate Simon Danczuk was so well known in the constituency, The former member of parliament. Are you disappointed to have only got 6% when you’re polling 10% and above in the National polls?

Well, all by-elections take place on the whole in unusual circumstances. But Rochdale by election was particularly unusual given the way that the central issue being debated was Gaza. Not actually domestic politics. You know it’s a sign I think of how this country is falling apart. It seems odd that should have been the central issue.

But for our candidate Simon Danczuk and his wife, it was a really awful filthy by-election. For the people who work at Reform UK, some of 30 or more by-elections. Told me told me that it’s the worst environment in which they’ve ever campaigned. The worst environment okay.

Well, I think we’d accept that one of the real features of the Rochdale by-election was the removal of the Labour candidate, Azhar Ali for some antisemitic comments that he made.

Azhar Ali Suspended for Antisemitism

Was the Labour party right to withdraw their support for him in Rochdale by election for being anti-Semitic?

Well it seemed to me that he was antisemitic and I think they were right to withdraw his support. What was surprising to me just talking about the election again in that context was the number of votes he got. Because I thought he’d get more than that based on the significant number of postal votes.

It was very odd there was 23,000 postal votes in a total, from a turnout of 31,000. So massive postal vote. This election was pretty much up in the postal vote. I thought Azhar Ali having tailwinds behind him. Pretty much until you know having the Labour party behind him until that postal vote would naturally get more votes.

But he didn’t do well and I think what’s happened here is that George Galloway had managed to tap into the Muslim Community. Who I believe, (I don’t have any evidence for this) but I believe they kind of vote en-masse based on what their leaders advise them on how to vote.

Moving away from the Rochdale by election for a moment. You said that it’s right that the Labour party removed Azhar Ali for antisemitic comments, they withdrew their support from him.

I learned today that Lee Anderson is under potential investigation by the Metropolitan Police for hate speak and anti-muslim hatred. Do you think Lee Anderson is guilty of anti-muslim hatred? If so why has the Reform Party asked him if he would like to join?

Donate red banner 2

Donate to Reform Nation Media

Lee Anderson Whip Withdrawn

Well Lee Anderson is undoubtedly guilty of using clumsy language and he said as much in a recent article. Clumsy language, can I, if I may, clumsy language? I just want to push you on this sorry, clumsy language can cover a lot. I’m happy to be pushed.

Has Lee Anderson, were his comments anti-muslim hatred? If so, why is the Reform Party asking him to join? When you’ve just said it’s right for example the Labour party would kick Azhar Ali out for anti-jewish hatred?

Lee Anderson’s comments taken one at a time are they anti-muslim yes, or no?

So, I wrote an article immediately after he made those comments. He said that Islamists had taken control of Sadiq Khan. In doing so he was loosely using the word Islamist by which I take it he meant extreme Muslims. If extreme Muslims had taken control of Sadiq Khan (which by the way I don’t think they have), I think Sadiq Khan makes up his own mind.

Perfectly capably in his own in his own way, not that I agree with him on anything. But, if extreme Muslims had taken control of Sadiq then that is not Islamophobia.

The Plot: Nadine Dorries Amazon Ad


I want to get the second question; so, you said you don’t believe that extreme Muslims have taken over Sadiq Khan. Therefore the natural conclusion is that Lee Anderson saying that is anti-muslim? Why is Reform wanting to welcome in someone by your own measure who has made anti-muslim comments into their ranks?

To cut to the chase Lee Anderson in my view did not make Islamophobic comments. He was calling Sadiq Khan out for the divisive politics that Sadiq Khan propagates in London.

He did it in an extremely clumsy way and he needs to be careful with his language. I have also said and I remain of the view that we should be very circumspect of taking any former Tory MPs on. Particularly ones who’ve lost the whip, particularly ones who are in disgrace. But particularly for the reasons Matt made earlier before I came on.

Let me have one last go Ben. What a yes or no answer because I know you’re very pushed for time, was Lee Anderson right to lose the whip yes or no?

I don’t think he was right to lose the whip.

Okay Ben, thank you so much for joining us. I’m sorry we’re very pushed for time today; we love having you on the show and we know you’ll be back.

Donate red banner 2

Donate to Reform Nation Media