One of the “members of the public” invited to grill Tory leadership candidates by the BBC was a former Labour candidate and staffer.
‘Aman from London’ previously attempted to become a councillor for the left-wing party in local elections, and later worked directly for party headquarters — “brought in by [Shadow Attorney-General] Shami Chakrabarti to help ‘close down’ cases of anti-Semitism”, according to a source who spoke to the Guido Fawkes blog.
The status of ‘Aman from London’ — real name Aman Thakar — as an “uber partisan” political activist was apparently known to the BBC, but the publicly-funded corporation opted not to inform viewers of his background.
Have been checking out this story all morning. The BBC just told me that they knew that Aman Thakar had worked for the Labour Party. (They didn't tell the viewers) https://t.co/WqUfxQFFiS
— Henry Zeffman (@hzeffman) June 19, 2019
Mr Thakar also works for Leigh Day, a controversial law firm prosecuted by The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) following allegations it pursued claims against the Ministry of Defence based on “deliberate lies” about the conduct of British forces — although they were cleared of misconduct charges following a multi-million-pound tribunal.
Mr Thakar has now been suspended by the law firm, however, after examination of his now-deleted social media accounts unearthed concerning statements related to Adolf Hitler and his legacy.
“We have been made aware of a tweet which we are taking very seriously,” commented a spokesman for the law firm. “Mr Thakar has been suspended with immediate effect from the firm whilst we carry out an internal investigation into these matters.”
BBC Tory leadership debate questioners
– Abdullah from Bristol – anti-Semitic social media content, publicly backed Labour Party, suspended by school this morning
– Aman from London – former Labour HQ staffer, BBC knew, didn’t tell viewers (@hzeffman)
— Ross Kempsell (@rosskempsell) June 19, 2019
The revelations concerning Mr Thakar follow the unmasking of another guest questioner at the debate, Islamic cleric Abdullah Patel, was revealed as a Jeremy Corbyn backer who made a number of antisemitic remarks on social media.
The imam, who asked the panel if “words have consequences” and was used as a vehicle to interrogate leading candidate Boris Johnson past criticism of Islamic full face veils — banned in many European and even some Muslim-majority states — was initially lauded in the mainstream press, but journalists and commentators had to perform a screeching volte-face after scrutiny of his social media activity.
This included posts suggesting women should never be alone with a man if they did not want to be sexually assaulted, that Israel should be abolished and relocated to the United States, and that “Zionists” like to “hide behind the Holocaust cry”.
Mr Patel, like Mr Thakar, has been suspended from his job — in his case as a deputy teacher at a primary school.
‘Words Have Consequences’: Antisemitic Writing of Imam Invited by BBC to Question Tory Leaders Revealed https://t.co/D4vHh9A0dP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 19, 2019