No apology from peer for ‘Zionist lobby’ slur

Lord Ahmed (Photo: AP)

Lord Ahmed (Photo: AP)

Controversial peer Lord Ahmed has admitted blaming “the Zionist lobby” for the demise of Press TV in Britain.

During an interview with the Iranian-backed channel, he said the “influence of the Zionist lobby” had led to “misunderstanding between civilisations”.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom revoked Press TV’s licence in the UK last year after ruling that Iranian authorities were responsible for editorial decisions.

But Lord Ahmed told the channel that it was “very unfortunate that the Zionist lobby does not like Press TV and many of the other outlets of Iran, and that’s why the pressure is so much that they need to be switched off”.

Asked to clarify his comments, Lord Ahmed told the JC this week that he had intentionally referred to a “Zionist lobby”. He said: “I recall doing an interview, recorded for Press TV, regarding freedom of speech and freedom of media.

“I recall talking about influence of the Zionist lobby in the West and misunderstanding between civilisations.”

Lord Ahmed resigned the Labour party whip in May, days before a disciplinary hearing over comments he made in which he allegedly blamed a Jewish conspiracy for the length of the jail sentence he received in 2007 for causing a fatal car crash.

In an interview with the JC at the time, he said he could not recall making the remark, and expressed a desire to rehabilitate his reputation with the Jewish community.

Last updated: 5:45pm, July 11 2013