Afzal Amin, the Tory party candidate for Dudley North, has this week resigned after it was exposed that he had plotted with the English Defence League to stage a “fake” march which he could then claim the credit for getting called off.
The Mail on Sunday reported that Amin discussed with the EDL a plan to call a march against a planned mosque in the constituency, a march that would then be called off.
Amin was recorded saying he would take credit for persuading the EDL to call off the march. He also said he would be the EDL’s “unshakeable ally” in parliament.
Amjid Raza, spokesman for the Dudley Central mosque said that this was just the latest in a long line of politicians hijacking the local community’s efforts to build a new mosque. The plan to build a new mosque has seen several EDL protests.
Far right agitation in the area has a long history. In the last election UKIP managed 8.5%, one of their strongest performances, and in 2005 the BNP gained 10%.
Amin clearly felt he had a right to “negotiate” on behalf of local Muslims.
He had no such right, yet the formula of self-appointed “leaders” of BME communities negotiating with police and councils is not unique to this case.