Sayeeda Warsi, speaking in 2013:
“Membership of the EU is in the UK’s national interests”
“Although I was never a member of the group, I did hum along to one of their songs two weeks ago…”
The Times have watered down their mischievous first edition claiming Sayeeda Warsi has ‘defected’ from Leave to Remain. No one in Vote Leave thought she was a Brexit supporter or is aware of her doing any campaigning for them at all. She has only tweeted about Vote Leave once – ten days ago – to attack them. She did not appear on the website of pro-Leave group Muslims for Britain. In February Warsi told Eurosceptic campaigners she had not declared. When Dan Hannan invited her to join the Leave campaign, she declined. Neil Kinnock even once backed her for EU commissioner…
What about her own words? Speaking in 2013, Sayeeda said:
“Membership of the EU is in the UK’s national interest”
In 2014 she said:
“One of the things that attracted me to David Cameron was that he was not obsessed with Europe and immigration. I would hate to think that is where we end up again – obsessing with Europe and immigration.”
And in 2011 she told the Tory group of MEPs she explicitly supported being a member of the EU:
“Now is not the time to turn our backs on our friends. We must continue the work we have started together. This is the work that Margaret Thatcher began, bringing about growth through a competitive single market. And that must be our mission today. And with that, it is my great pleasure to introduce a man who is leading this mission [William Hague]. A man who fought a campaign about being in Europe but not run by Europe. He was criticised – but he was right.”
Forget dead cat, Downing Street and Sayeeda have sold the Times a pup…
Last week Sayeeda Warsi attended the premiere of a new film starring the winner of Arab Pop Idol, Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf. She praised Assaf for bringing “hope“:
This is Assaf’s latest song, released at the height of the ongoing violence in Israel. The video includes footage of balaclava-clad Palestinians attacking Israelis, and references the locations of the spate of recent stabbings:
The lyrics clearly incite violence against Israelis:
“We are your soliders, full of courage and dignity, if our souls are the price of freedom we will glady pay… They rose to fight the occupiers… be strong, the resistance will win and victory will come… There is no perseverance like yours in Jerusalem and Affoulah, in Nabrus, Hebron and Ramallah… Some were martyred, some were injured, their blood blossomed and our precious blood is still spilling… Salute the determined people who are resisting the occupiers, fight back until you defeat the aggressor”
Warsi follows Assaf on Twitter, where he has posted the video. He also posted this graphic, which praises Palestinian terrorists who stabbed and murdered Israeli civilians as “martyrs“:
Hamas have praised him as an “ambassador for Palestinian art“. Surely Sayeeda didn’t know that this “art” was glorifying violence?
Another measured and constructive contribution to political discourse from Sayeeda Warsi on the Today programme this morning. As a 17 year old Brit blows himself up in Iraq and a Bradford family goes missing, who does the Baroness blame for the radicalisation of Muslims?
“Let’s first of all be very clear about finding the evidence base of what are the drivers to radicalisation. It may make for uncomfortable reading but it is only when we start to have that honest conversation that we unpick what is now becoming a generational challenge…
Sadly over the last six or seven years there has been a policy of disengagement with British Muslim communities. It is incredibly odd and incredibly worrying that over time more and more individuals, more and more organisations are considered by the government to be beyond the pale and therefore not to be engaged with … Unfortunately the coalition government carried on that policy. It is now time to end that policy of disengagement and start speaking to the British Muslim communities”
Exactly which individuals and organisations considered “beyond the pale” does Warsi want to engage with? Think she is taking this whole Corbyn fandom thing a bit too seriously…
Sayeeda Warsi and a host of Labour MPs attended the unveiling of a ‘Muslim Manifesto’ yesterday at an event on the parliamentary estate. Did they know it was organised by an ‘Islamic extremist’ who has praised Al-Qaeda?
Azad Ali is the Head of Community Engagement at Mend, an ‘anti-Islamophobia think tank’ which met yesterday to demand a “review [of] all counter-terrorism legislation enacted since 2000”.
Ali has previously written of his “love” of Al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki and was suspended from his job at the Treasury after he attempted to justify the murder of British troops. He has also admitted attending speeches by Al-Qaeda hate preacher Abu Qatada. Ali has previously been described as an “Islamic extremist” by an eminent expert in the field.
Earlier this week, Mend defended CAGE, the extremist group linked to Jihadi John, accusing the media of “an attempt to discredit” them. Their event in parliament, which Ali live-tweeted, was attended by left-wing Labour MPs Yasmin Qureshi, Gerald Kaufman, Kate Green and Andy Slaughter.
So was Baroness Warsi, who said their “Muslim Manifesto is something you can take to your election candidates”.
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Ashworth added: “I think this manifesto is really important and a great initiative. I will be studying it very carefully and I will be passing it on to our Shadow Cabinet”.
What was Azad Ali, a man who has professed his love for a senior Al-Qaeda leader, doing in the heart of parliament?
Perhaps Baroness Warsi’s New Year’s resolution should be to think before tweeting about “Jews”. The noble and principled former ‘Senior Minister of State’ has made series of bizarre claims about the “British Jewish community” and “British Jews” this morning:
Just one problem: contrary to Warsi’s accusation, the Board of Deputies did reach out to her after she resigned, and it was actually the Baroness who ignored them. Laura Marks, vice president of the Board of Deputies, tells the JC:
“I tried her office, her phone, she never replied. Despite trying to reach out, I couldn’t get through.”
Cue reverse ferret from Sayeeda:
That won’t be awkward at all…
There’s no love lost between Shapps and his predecessor as Tory chairman, Sayeeda Warsi. Tension has boiled over today in light of the former Foreign Office minister’s crackers intervention blaming Israel for a terrorist attack on its own citizens:
So that’s what Warsi meant by now being able to “speak more freely”…
Baroness Warsi used her punchy Sunday interviews to imply that “public school” Tories around the PM had it in for her because she is a “a brown, working-class woman” who they saw as “not good enough” to serve in office. Two bits of information might influence how we view that claim – the names of the two new Muslim women appointed by those same nasty Tories as peers on Friday, the impressive women being businesswoman Nosheena Mobarik and popular former Hague SpAd Arminka Helic.
Those less kind than Guido might suggest that Warsi’s very public discovery of principles might have something to do with the two impressive new female Muslim Tory peers threatening her uniqueness as a female Muslim and her therefore being at the centre of attention. Guido understands she got wind of the appointments just prior to her resignation…
Warsi has spoken on camera finally:
“Over the last four weeks I have done everything I can both at formal and informal meetings to try to convince my colleagues that our current policy on Gaza is morally indefensible that it is not in our interests not in British interests and that it will have consequences for us both internationally and here at home. But in the end I felt the governments position wasn’t moving and therefore I had to on a point of principle resign.”
Cathy Newman has the sit down interview at 7…
Sayeeda Warsi’s Tory colleagues are really, really sad that she has quit. A Tory source tells Guido:
“Warsi’s resignation is classic Warsi. Attacks her own team, pure grandstanding, and shows that she is a quitter. Her resignation does nothing to help the innocent civilians on both sides who are suffering. She had a much better chance of helping support the ceasefire if she had stayed inside Government. But instead she has thrown in the towel.”
Reaction elsewhere has been broadly positive:
With friends like these…
Quite late in Baroness Warsi’s career to discover principle:
How will FCO cope without its ‘Senior Minister of State’?
Cynical and calculating to the end, it is hard to see this resignation as anything other than a naked attempt to salvage her reputation. Warsi was due to go during the reshuffle, but the PM reportedly had second thoughts. Now she will be free to snipe, as they feared…
UPDATE: Warsi’s letter to the PM:
UPDATE II: No.10 have finally responded:
“The Prime Minister regrets that Baroness Warsi has decided to stand down and is grateful for the excellent work that she has done both as a Minister and in Opposition. Our policy always been consistently clear – the situation in Gaza is intolerable and we’ve urged both sides to agree to an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.”
As ever, one big reshuffle headache is what to do about Warsi. The ‘Senior’ Minister of State at Communities and the Foreign Office is unlikely to go quietly, though that has not stopped others in government attempting to brief her out of the door. In fact, they appear to have formed an orderly queue over at Coffee House:
“Baroness Warsi is alleged by multiple sources in and out of government to have consistently resisted calls to develop a proper strategy on integration and tackling extremism at its roots, even though this is the Prime Minister’s policy…
One source says: ‘Sayeeda made clear when she got the job at CLG that she didn’t agree with the Prime Minister and that she simply wasn’t going to do this bit of her job.’”
While she’s clearly a drag, is it really worth the risk for No 10 of the famously tempestuous, former loyalist, going totally tonto pre-2015? Warsi’s well maintained diaries remain a source of concern in Tory circles…
Guido is wondering where the government’s faith and communities minister Sayeeda Warsi has got to. With the Birmingham Trojan Horse row rumbling on, we are yet to hear from the usually vocal Baroness on an issue well within her purview. Are we expected to believe that nobody has called Warsi or complained to her? Is the Senior Minister of State too important for such trivial bickering, or has she been gagged?
Incidentally, Warsi has been causing trouble in Sajid Javid’s back yard. The first big intervention as Culture Secretary from Britain’s first Asian Secretary of State was to declare that all immigrants should learn English to try and integrate themselves into British society. It seems Warsi did not get the memo though…
Just a week later, she conducted a meeting in Javid’s neighbouring constituency of Stourbridge entirely in Urdu. English speaking local residents complained that they could not understand what was going on, telling Warsi “I think it should have been translated into English as well.” Is this standard practice for a Minister of the Crown?