Shah Hussain, Suspended Labour Councillor, Defends Comparing Israel To Nazi Germany

The Labour councillor suspended from the party for sending a tweet comparing the actions of Israeli government to Hitler has said he has been targeted because he is a Muslim.

Burnley councillor Shah Hussain told the BBC's Daily Politics programme on Tuesday there had been a "witch hunt" against him.

"What I was merely stating is that, what the state of Israel is doing within Gaza can be made comparable to what happened to the European Jews in World War Two," he said.

Asked whether it was appropriate to make the comparison he said he was "merely stating an event that actually happened".

"It was appropriate in 2014 when the conflict between Israeli and Palestinians were taking place," he said.

Hussain said he planned to fight the suspension from Labour. "It’s unfortunate that I happen to be a Muslim councillor, therefore my comments have bee taken out of context," he said.

Labour MP Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, told the same programme Hussain was wrong to compare Israel to Nazi Germany.

"I do believe it is totally inappropriate, but I won’t discuss his case because I sit on the National Executive Committee and I may have to deal with the case as one of the members who sits in judgment. So I won’t talk about particular cases but I will talk about an attitude," he said.

Speaking at a local election campaign launch in London this morning, Jeremy Corbyn said the "anti-Semitic issue has been dealt with".

The Daily Telegraph this morning suggested that as many as 50 people had been suspended by Labour's compliance unit in the past two month.

Labour said the figure was a "wild overestimate".

Corbyn has set up an independent investigation into anti-Semitism and other forms of racism within Labour led by former Liberty chief Shami Chakrabarti.