Press Release: Muslim Group at Centre of MP’s Trial Reacts
Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK), the Muslim group named in his notorious election leaflets, welcomes the election court’s verdict against Phil Woolas MP.
Catherine Heseltine, CEO of MPACUK, comments that, “We should all be concerned at the evidence that this MP was prepared to stir up anti-Muslim hatred in an attempt to win votes in an area that has experienced race riots.”
Emails submitted to the court revealed that the Woolas election strategy was, “to explain to the white community how the Asians will take him out… If we don’t get the white vote angry he’s gone.” (Telegraph 13/9/10). Election literature in the form of local newspapers was targeted to white areas of Oldham and highlighted Lib Dem plans to allow local Muslims to build a new mosque.
MPACUK was accused in Mr Woolas’s election literature of being an “extremist” organisation distributing “hate leaflets” against the MP. In fact MPACUK ran a campaign under the slogan “your vote is your voice”, distributing leaflets that detailed the MP’s record in parliament.
It emerged in court that while Mr Woolas’s leaflets referred to MPACUK’s election campaign, the picture he used of Muslims waving placards demanding "death to those who insult Islam" was of protestors at a demonstration 4 years ago, which MPACUK publicly condemned.
Mr Woolas’s election literature also claimed that he faced “death threats made to Phil Woolas in extremist Muslim election leaflets”. However in his testimony the MP admitted that he had not reported this to the police as a crime and he failed to produce evidence of this alleged threat.
We have been appalled by his conduct as an MP as well as his tactics during the 2010 General Election.
During his tenure as MP for Oldham East & Saddleworth, the ‘dishonourable’ Mr Woolas targeted the Muslim community with outrageous claims leading to tabloid headlines about Muslim “inbreeding”. On another occasion he even publicly dismissed a Muslim women's concerns about the government's counter-productive foreign policy as “crap”. Unbelievably, this outburst was supposed to be part of a public consultation.
We hope that the forthcoming by-election in Oldham East & Saddleworth is conducted ethically and that the voters will be served by a better public servant than Phil Woolas.
For further information contact:
0870 760 5594 (MPACUK Switchboard)
MPACUK is a grass roots campaign group run by young British Muslims with branches based in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bradford. MPACUK aims to empower British Muslims through active engagement in mainstream politics and media.