Less than 4 weeks ago the veteran Labour MP Tony Lloyd died. He'd been an MP since 1983, except for 5 years when he stood down to become a Police and Crime commissioner.
The Rochdale constituency has historically been a Liberal Democrat/Labour swing seat. Its previous MPs include morbidly obese paedophile Cyril Smith and Simon Danczuk who did a huge amount of work on paedo politicians before becoming a disgraced MP by sending overtly sexual messages to a 17 year old girl.
Rochdale has been in the news for two main reasons. In 2010 Gordon Brown was questioned by resident Gillian Duffy about immigration and referred to her as "that bigoted woman", a comment caught on microphone. And the Rochdale grooming gangs of Pakistani Muslim men abusing young girls is now infamous.
So Labour needed to pick a new candidate and the local party made a decision to pick Azhar Ali, a councillor. A Westminster journalist who was born in Rochdale also applied, focusing on Gaza rather than safeguarding in his pitch to Labour members. So the by election is set for Feb 29th and nominations have closed and lo and behold Azhar Ali is a frothing antisemite who was recorded at a meeting saying Israel let the October 7th attack go ahead so Netanyahu could attack Gaza.
If Azhar Ali was an existing MP and had said that he would be suspended immediately - there are 2 existing MPs suspended from the party over anti Israel comments. But because he's their candidate and they can't change it Labour are sticking by him and defending the indefensible rather than disowning him. One of the reasons is another candidate is the former Labour MP and Jew obsessed Nazi George Galloway who takes money from Iran and Russia and targets Muslim seats where he can whip up date. Labour see their antisemite as the least worst antisemite to Galloway.
And now the Tories are understandably attacking Labour and saying they haven't changed after Corbyn. It's cynical, especially looking at some of their candidates (Hi Susan!), but it's effective.
I really hope there will be a u-turn and Labour will complete disown him and refuse to campaign for him. If that means Nazi Galloway becomes an MP for a few months then so be it.