Tory candidate accused of trying to stage EDL mosque protest

A Conservative election candidate was suspended on Saturday night after being accused of trying to choreograph a fake demonstration outside a mosque with former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.

Afzal Amin then planned to emerge as a community saviour by publicly stopping the protest, according to taped conversations published by The Mail on Sunday.

The recordings, in an Indian restaurant in Birmingham, between Mr Amin and Mr Robinson, as well as EDL chairman Steve Eddowes, and a subsequent phone call.

“This is my fantasy. If I could demonstrate to the people in Dudley that I can be a positive voice for community cohesion, for development, for campaigning against the evils and the terrorism and the child grooming and all the rest of it, then that would help me a lot in the forthcoming election,” Mr Amin is quoted as saying.

He is also accused of asking EDL members to round up support for his campaign.

Mr Amin, a former Army captain who served in Afghanistan, is standing in Dudley North, a key marginal seat at the general election for the Tories, but the party chairman moved to suspend him last night.

A spokesman said: “Following an emergency meeting, it has been decided to suspend him with immediate effect."

Mr Amin told The Independent: “The Mail on Sunday have provided small snippets of over 57 hours of meetings between members of the Dudley Muslim community, the leadership of the EDL, Tommy Robinson and me. For the past year, I have been undertaking discussions with Tommy Robinson and more recently with the leadership of the EDL to prevent further inter-communal tensions and violence. I recognised that there was an opportunity to promote better community cohesion between various communities in Dudley and that this may serve as a model for further dispute resolution in other towns and cities.

“The EDL marched in Dudley in February 2015, despite our best efforts to stop this. The march cost UK tax payers £1m, and there was no way that I wanted this to happen again. I continued my engagement with Tommy Robinson to prevent another march. There was an opportunity for me to use my experience as a strategist in Kandahar by getting people to talk face to face and then recount to their communities what was discussed and that a settlement was agreed.”

He added: “It’s a shame that it seems Tommy Robinson has been seduced by money to launch this attack on me. He is a convicted fraudster and has a salacious appetite for money, which has seen him snub a real job and opt for the spreading of hatred during his long, one year sting operation.”

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