Labour peer Lord Ahmed has been suspended by the party, pending an investigation into allegations that he offered a £10 million “bounty” for the capture of current US President Barack Obama and former President George W Bush. Allegedly this was in response to the US offering a reward for the capture of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed – founder of the violent extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba – who is blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper reported Ahmed as saying:
“If the US can announce a reward of 10 million dollars for the captor of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10 million on President Obama and his predecessor George Bush.”
A spokesperson for the party said:
“We have suspended Lord Ahmed pending investigation. If these comments are accurate we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable. The international community is rightly doing all in its power to seek justice for the victims of the Mumbai bombings and halt terrorism.”
However according to the PA, Ahmed denies the allegations, telling them:
“I never said those words. I did not offer a bounty. I said that there have been war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan and those people who have got strong allegations against them – George W Bush and Tony Blair have been involved in illegal wars and should be brought to justice. I do not think there’s anything wrong with that.”
“If the Labour Party want to suspend me I will deal with the Labour Party. They will have to give me some evidence.”
We’ll bring you more on this as we have it.