Labour under pressure over green donor Dale Vince’s Hamas remarks

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Labour under pressure over green donor Dale Vince’s Hamas remarks

Asked for his view on the actions of the terror group, he said in a radio interview 'one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

WW63Y6 Dale Vince, club chairman, watching Forest Green Rovers FC vs Grimsby Town FC, at the New Lawn ground. 17th August 2019
Picture by Andrew Higgins/Thou
WW63Y6 Dale Vince, club chairman, watching Forest Green Rovers FC vs Grimsby Town FC, at the New Lawn ground. 17th August 2019 Picture by Andrew Higgins/Thou

Labour have been put under pressure by the Conservatives over donations to the party from Dale Vince, after it emerged that the green campaigner recently said it was his view, when asked about Hamas, that “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.”

The Forest Green chairman was quizzed late last year by Times Radio on his opinion of the proscribed terror group and whether a “terrorist attack from Hamas, Palestine defending itself?”

Responding, Vince said:”I think one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist, right? That’s how it works.”

It was then stressed to Vince that this was “not the Labour position, they are not saying that. They are saying the opposite of that.”

Vince responded:”Yeah, I understand. This is my view.”

A donor to the controversial Just Stop Oil group, Vince has given over £2million to Labour in recent years, along with fossil fuel and climate protester organisations.

His views on Hamas emerged on the same day Rishi Sunak was put under further pressure over the racist remarks made about the MP Diane Abbott by  Frank Hester, who has given the party £10million.

Labour have called for the Tories to refuse the money.

The PM’s spokesperson referenced Vince claims about Hamas as she attempted to defend Sunak over the Tory Party response to Hester’s comments.

The businessman from West Yorkshire is said to have remarked at a meeting in 2019 that Abbott made him “just want to hate all black women”.

Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said: “The man bankrolling the prime minister also said that the member for Hackney North and Stoke Newington [Abbott] should be shot.”

At PMQs Sunak said: “The alleged comments were wrong, they were racist, he has rightly apologised for them and that remorse should be accepted.”

Abbott, a former shadow minister who is now an independent, said Hester’s comments were “frightening”.

Last March Vince defended the flying of the Palestinian flag at Forest Green Rovers ground. He said the flag was flown at their stadium because the “conflict there has all the same ingredients as the one in Ukraine.”

Jewish News has approached Labour and the Conservatives for comment.

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