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Labour withdraws support for Rochdale candidate Labour withdraws support for Rochdale candidate
(32 minutes later)
Labour says it has “withdrawn support” for Rochdale by-election candidate Azhar Ali following his comments about Israel. Azhar Ali issued an apology after his comments were published
The BBC understands Mr Ali has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation. Labour says it has “withdrawn support” for Rochdale by-election candidate Azhar Ali after his comments on Israel.
Labour said the decision was made "following new information about further comments" made by Mr Ali coming to light. The BBC understands Mr Ali has been suspended from Labour pending an investigation.
This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. The party said the decision was taken after "new information about further comments" by Mr Ali came to light. Earlier on Monday, Labour had defended standing by him as a candidate.
You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. It is too late for the party to replace Mr Ali as its candidate.
He is alleged to have told a Labour party meeting that Israel had "allowed" the deadly attack by Hamas gunmen on 7 October.
After the comments came to light, Mr Ali apologised "to Jewish leaders for my inexcusable comments".
Labour has faced intense pressure since the remarks surfaced, with widespread condemnation from party members and political rivals.