Green Party ‘ignored warnings’ about inflammatory posts by elected councillors

Mothin Ali shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ after winning seat in Leeds


Newly elected councillor Mothin Ali speaks after his election victory (Credit: X/Twitter)

The Green Party has been accused of ignoring warnings over inflammatory remarks and posts by council candidates who went on to win seats at last weekend’s local elections. 

Mothin Ali, 42, who celebrated election to Leeds city council last weekend by shouting “Allahu akbar”, was reportedly flagged to the party in February after he featured in a video posted on October 7 in which he implied the atrocities were justified because Palestinians have the “right to fight back against occupiers”. 

The JC reported claims that Abdul Malik – who won a seat on Bristol council – shared an 18-minute video of a Hamas press conference in which a spokesman for the terror group said Israel was an “an animal state… a cancer that should be eradicated”.

Despite being shown a screenshot of the evidence, the party claimed Malik had been been “tagged” into the inflammatory post.

A MailOnline journalist said he had approached the Greens in February about Ali’s incendiary social media activity – which included describing Leeds University’s Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Zecharia Deutsch, as a “creep” and an “animal” in a TikTok video – but was “ignored”.

JLM National Chair Mike Katz told the JC that his organisation had warned the party last year about “people that Labour had expelled for antisemitism” but had been met with a similar response.

He said: “We warned the Greens last year that they needed to take the issue seriously and stop taking in and promoting people that Labour had expelled for antisemitism.

“Sadly, they chose to ignore us. Now we see Green councillors elected spouting intolerant extreme views that have no place in progressive politics.

“The Greens must take firm, proactive action and demonstrate to the Jewish community they take the issue of antisemitism seriously. We’ve seen no sign of that to date.”

This week the Green Party said it had opened an investigation into Ali, who also described his victory as a “win for the people of Gaza”.

A spokesperson said: “The Green Party is investigating issues drawn to our attention in relation to Councillor Mothin Ali, so cannot comment further. However, we are clear that we never support anything that extols violence.”

Carla Denyer, Green co-leader, described Ali’s comments as “very concerning”. In a statement released on Tuesday, Ali said he was “sorry for any upset my comments caused about the Gaza conflict”.

He continued: “I do not support violence on either side: violence leads to more violence and this is what I have tried to convey.

“I have consistently called for an immediate ceasefire and a release of all hostages.

“I hope to be working with a broad coalition including both the Jewish and Muslim Greens soon to discuss sensible ways for us to work on communicating our shared passion of bringing the conflict to an end.”

The JC also contacted Ali for comment.

The government’s adviser on antisemitism, Lord John Mann, was due to meet Green Party leaders this week to discuss extreme anti-Israel conduct among some of its candidates and newly elected councillors.

He said he was due to explore the possibility of the Green Party suspending or withdrawing the whip from elected councillors and improving its candidate selection and vetting process.

Mann also suggested that the Greens may have to remove Ali from the party as Labour did in February with Rochdale by-election candidate Azhar Ali after he suggested Israel had allowed the October 7 attack to take place as a pretext to invade Gaza, comments for which he later apologised.

Leeds Jewish Representative Council has also written to the Green party’s co-leaders asking for action on Ali.

​When shown the screenshot, the party insisted that Malik had not published the post himself.

No explanation for this statement was given by the party and Malik himself, who was contacted by the JC, had not provided any clarifications at the time of going to press.

In a statement to the BBC regarding the allegations, Malik – a Liberal Democrat councillor from 2005 to 2009 who joined the Labour Party in 2017 because, he said, he supported Jeremy Corbyn – said he condemned the attack on Israel.

The Green Party said a second successful Bristol candidate, Mohamed Makawi, has apologised for posts he shared on X/Twitter in November. One post stated it had been confirmed “beyond a reasonable doubt what the Palestinian resistance said that it targeted Israeli military sites on the 7th of October, and that most of the dead Israeli civilians were killed by the Israeli army or during an exchange of fire”, while talk of Hamas’s terrorist attack was just an “American-Zionist lie”.

A Green spokesman told the JC that although Makawi had apologised, the party would not be suspending him, because it had now given him “social media training”.

A Green Party spokesman told the JC: “The Green Party has repeatedly condemned the appalling Hamas attacks of  October 7, and called for the unconditional release of Israeli hostages, as well as calling for a bilateral ceasefire. We stand in solidarity with our Jewish communities in our collective fight against antisemitism and we are clear that the anguish felt by many over the appalling situation in Gaza can never be used as a justification for… damaging communications.”​

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive