UK & World News
Peer Suspended Over President Obama 'Bounty'
A House of Lords peer has been suspended over reports that he offered a £10m "bounty" for the capture of the US President.
The Labour Party suspended Lord Nazir Ahmed after claims he was said to have offered the cash for the capture of Barack Obama and his predecessor George W Bush.
Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper said the remarks were made by Lord Ahmed at a reception in Haripur, Pakistan, on April 13.
He allegedly made the comments at the function in response to an American reward for the capture of a prominent Pakistani radical.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who founded the violent extremist group Lashkar e Taiba, is blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed.
A Labour spokesman said: "We have suspended Lord Ahmed pending investigation.
"If these comments are accurate, we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable.
"The international community is rightly doing all in its power to seek justice for the victims of the Mumbai bombings and halt terrorism."
The newspaper said the peer called the US bounty on Saeed "an insult to all Muslims".
"If the US can announce a reward of £10m for the captor of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10m on President Obama and his predecessor George Bush," he is reported to have said.
Lord Ahmed firmly denied offering a bounty but said he had told the meeting that Mr Bush and ex-Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair should be prosecuted for war crimes.
Speaking from Pakistan, he said no one from the Labour party had contacted him before announcing the suspension and challenged it to provide evidence for the decision.
"They have suspended me? That's a surprise to me. I did not know," Lord Ahmed said.
Asked about the reported comments, he said: "I never said those words. I did not offer a bounty. I said that there have been war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan and those people who have got strong allegations against them.
"George W Bush and Tony Blair have been involved in illegal wars and should be brought to justice. I do not think there's anything wrong with that."
He added: "If the Labour Party want to suspend me I will deal with the Labour Party. They will have to give me some evidence."
Born in Kashmir but raised in Rotherham, Lord Ahmed joined the Labour Party at 18 and was on Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council for 18 years.
After university, he ran a chain of shops and became a property developer while burnishing his political career by serving as a magistrate, chairing the South Yorkshire Labour Party and working as a non-executive director of Rotherham Health Authority.
He was a founder member of the British Muslim Councillors' Forum in 1992 and made a life peer in 1998, after which he became a prominent commentator on issues facing British Muslims.
He was involved in the Government's Forced Marriage Working Group and led a government delegation to Mecca in 2000.
But his political career has also been dogged by a series of controversies. In 2007 he hit the headlines when he criticised the awarding of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie.
And in 2008, he had to publicly deny rumours he planned to defect to the Conservative Party, alleging the speculation was being spread by a Labour minister who was a "sad loser".
Lord Ahmed was also jailed for 12 weeks for dangerous driving in 2009 after sending and receiving text messages minutes before he was involved in a fatal motorway crash.
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what do you think?
another unwanted lying labourite we can do without .
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Just goes to show, nutcases are not the preserve of the Tory Party. Labour are the new pale pink Tories and have been ever since (Lord) Kinnock got his greasy paws on it. Time for the unions to make a decisive break from Labour and form our own party that will represent working class interests the way the three main parties represent the interests of the rich.
What is a person who was once in prison doing in the house of lords? The only people who should belong there are people who others will respect
These people speak two ways, in public here they say what we want to hear while with their own kind they say what they truly feel. As the American indians used to say, they speak with two tongues. I could not write F.o.r.k.e.d thanks to you know who.
emma west was sent to prison awaiting trial for suspected racial abuse yet we have this guy threatening a bounty on the US president and all that happens is that he gets suspended from the labour party . No police charges NOTHING. ,MORE PROOF RACISM ONLY WORKS ONE WAY
politicians are supposed to uphold the laws and protect the country's citizens so it is obvious he is no citizen of the UK? Can we put him in jail for treason? Or strip his title and Parliament seat for giving aid and succour to the enemy?
It is amazing thaty the Yanks can say things but as soon as a British person says anything he pays the price. There is something fundamentaly wrong in the UK and this is a very good example of freedoms (NOT) Why is it the USA can say these things but watch out if you are from the UK.
"If the US can announce a reward of £10m for the captor of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10m on President Obama and his predecessor George Bush," This is a completely legitamate comment. The US Government has been carrying out assinanton on high ranking Taliban and Al Queda Officals for years. Most famously Osama Bin Laden, this is outrageous. None of these people ever get a fair trial.
this guy sounds like a liability to the labour party !!!!!!!!!!!!!
He should be arrested and deported to the USA. Cameron allows British to be sent there when they do nothing about the USA so he now MUST DEPORT HIM