(Reuters) – A Muslim candidate for Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives said on Monday he’d been the victim of a far-right sting operation after being suspended over allegations he plotted to stir up racial tension to help win votes.
Afzal Amin, a parliamentary candidate in the key seat of Dudley North in central England, was shown in video footage and telephone recordings trying to persuade the far-right English Defence League (EDL) to announce a march against a new mosque in the area.
Amin, campaigning ahead of an unusually close national election on May 7, then allegedly planned to take the credit for brokering the suspension of the protest.
The scandal is damaging to Cameron’s party, who need to win seats such as Dudley North, currently held by opposition Labour, to have a chance of obtaining a majority on May 7.
Amin, who faces a Conservative Party disciplinary hearing on Tuesday at which he faces being expelled, said on Monday he’d only been trying to help improve ties between the area’s Muslims and disgruntled white working class voters.
He said he’d done nothing wrong and had been set up by the far-right EDL, which organizes protests against what it says is growing Muslim influence in British society.
“I didn’t realize this was the start of a year-long sting operation and that’s really what I’ve been subject to here,” Amin told BBC radio. “I stand by my desire to see peace between our own communities. I’m a loyal party member.”
Note: He has resigned. He simply forgot he wasn’t in the Third World anymore.