A TORY candidate in a key general election marginal has been suspended after allegedly hatching a plot with far-right extremists to win votes by stirring up racial hatred.
Afzal Amin is accused of scheming with the English Defence League (EDL) to announce an inflammatory march against a new “mega-mosque” in the seat of Dudley North.
But the idea was reportedly for the protest to be scrapped, with Mr Amin taking the credit for defusing the situation.
In return, he allegedly promised that he would be an “unshakeable ally” for the EDL in parliament and help bring their views to the mainstream.
A Conservative Party spokesman confirmed that Mr Amin – who was apparently filmed covertly talking about the deal – had been suspended. “Following an emergency meeting it has been decided to suspend him as a candidate with immediate effect,” the spokesman said. “The Conservative Party views this as a matter of extremely serious concern.”
However, in a statement on his website last night, Mr Amin said the footage had been “grossly misrepresented and present an inaccurate picture of the reality of what was happening”.
“While the meetings were intended to be private and discreet, I made sure I involved Chief Superintendent Chris Johnson from the start and I made clear, which is evident in the recordings, that I refused to do anything illegal,” he said.
“During a time of heated tensions between various communities in our country, it’s vital that we tackle these problems and take difficult, sometimes uncomfortable, steps. The potential for inter-communal violence has become a real threat to the destabilisation of our country and we must prevent this at all costs.
“I recognised this as an opportunity to promote better community cohesion.
“Politics requires an amount of bravery and using my experience as a strategist in Afghanistan, negotiating between pro-Taleban militias and the US military, I decided to use the same tactics to improve community relations here in my own country between the EDL and Muslim communities.”
A full disciplinary hearing is expected to be held tomorrow, at which Mr Amin will be able to explain his actions and a decision on his future will be taken.
Prime Minister David Cameron is understood to have been informed and approves of the way it is being handled.
Mr Amin was reportedly filmed by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, who blew the whistle because he objected to being used as a “pawn”.
The candidate, described on his website as a former army education officer to Princes William and Harry, outlined his plan to Mr Robinson and current EDL chairman Steve Eddowes at an Indian restaurant in Birmingham last Monday.
The 40-year-old allegedly suggested EDL members could be paid to canvass on his behalf, and floated the idea of a phoney protest, just weeks after a real demonstration in Dudley by 600 EDL supporters led to 30 arrests.
“This is my fantasy,” he apparently says in the footage. “If I could demonstrate to the people in Dudley that I can be a positive voice for community cohesion then that would help me a lot in the forthcoming election.
“One way of doing that is, if you were to announce a second march about the mosque… and then we have two meetings with the chief of police, members of the Muslim community, we all play our roles, you say, ‘Yeah we’re going to do a march, we’re campaigning and so on’.
“We have a second meeting where things are a bit calmer then at the third one, we say, ‘We were going to do a march. The police asked Afzal Amin, members of the Muslim community, we’ve sat together and… we’re going to work closely together’.”
Mr Amin had been due to take on sitting Labour MP Ian Austin in the election on 7 May.
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