Afzal Amin: now he claims an EDL ‘sting operation’

Tory candidate in Dudley North refuses to go quietly, claiming ‘phoney rally’ was Tommy Robinson’s idea

The Mole

EDITOR'S UPDATE at 19.00 Monday: Afzal Amin has resigned as the Tory candidate for Dudley North without waiting for tomorrow's hearing.

Afzal Amin, the Tory candidate in Dudley North, is refusing to go quietly – and it’s not helping the Conservatives.

Amin was suspended by the party yesterday and will have his chance to defend himself at a party hearing tomorrow. But many Tories believe he was caught bang to rights in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday scoop and, as a former British Army officer, he should know when to fall on his sword.

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In a nutshell, Amin was filmed by Tommy Robinson, former leader of the extreme-right English Defence League, apparently asking the EDL to organise a “phoney rally” against the building of a new mosque in Dudley.

The idea was that, days before the general election, Amin’s negotiating skills would succeed in persuading the EDL to cancel the “rally”, and Amin would be seen as local hero - thus improving his chances of getting elected in the tight marginal seat.

Yesterday, Amin told a BBC correspondent in Dubai that the Mail on Sunday had misrepresented what was going on in the film clips leaked to them by Robinson: it was, he said, an exercise in “conflict resolution”, with the sole aim of bringing the community together.

This morning, in an interview with a bewildered John Humphrys on Radio 4’s Today programme, he went further and claimed that the rally against the mosque was all Tommy Robinson’s idea and that he – Amin - was the victim of a sting operation.

“When he first came to me, he presented himself in tears, saying he wanted to see an improved Britain,” Amin told Humphrys. “I didn’t realise this was the start of a year-long sting operation. That is really what I’ve been subjected to here.”

Humprhys put to Amin the allegation contained in the Mail on Sunday article that he had told Robinson that he would be “looked after” and "would never go hungry again" if the EDL played its part in the plot.

Amin confirmed that he used those words – but, again, they had been misconstrued.

“When a man is in front of you in tears because he can’t provide Christmas presents for his children, then you have to extend a degree of humanitarian compassion to him. Of course, I did say that to him - if I am eating, you won’t go hungry because that is a normal human response.”

Now it’s Amin’s career that is going to end in tears… except that he's still refusing to admit it.

As Tory after Tory goes on TV – or online - begging Amin to go away, the man himself insists he will make “a robust defence” of his actions at tomorrow’s hearing. He has also issued a lengthy statement defending himself.

But Amin has so far failed to answer two important questions: How can someone who falls for the tears of Tommy Robinson hope to represent Dudley North in Parliament? And does he really expect the British public to believe that the EDL has the wherewithal to organise an elaborate sting?

It’s not a good start to the week for David Cameron. Tory hopes of a Budget bounce in the polls appear to have been dashed and this distraction takes the spotlight off Tory economic competence and back on the ugly side of British politics.

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is the pseudonym for a London-based political consultant who writes exclusively for The