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The Guardian smears Labour councillor as anti-semite in case of mistaken identity

THE GUARDIAN found itself in hot water today after it smeared a Labour candidate shortlisted to stand for Birmingham Hall Green as an anti-semite in a case of mistaken identity.

Columnist Jonathan Freedland and the Guardian’s politics live blog reported that Majid Mahmood — on the Labour shortlist for the constituency — was the lawyer who had ranted online about shooting “all Israeli zionists dead” and blowing up the “chosen people.”

This Majid Mahmood, who worked for City Law Chambers in Luton as a criminal defence solicitor at the time, was fined £25,000 in 2017 for his conduct by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

His comments were made on social media in 2015 and 2016, as reported in the Law Gazette.

But the Majid Mahmood on the shortlist is a Labour councillor in Birmingham who works for ESN Solicitors as a residential conveyancing solicitor in the same city.

Mr Freedland was urged on Twitter to apologise to Cllr Mahmood for the smear.

But he only apologised for “passing on” information from his “previously reliable” Labour source “too hastily.”

Mr Freedland wrote: “Labour tell me that earlier reports of a candidate shortlisted in Birmingham Hall Green rested on a confusion about two men with the same name.

“The Majid Mahmood shortlisted for the seat is NOT the Majid Mahmood fined over comments on Facebook — and I’ve deleted those tweets.

“I, of course, apologise wholeheartedly for passing on too hastily information from a previously reliable Labour source. It was a very bad error on my part, and one for which I will seek to make amends.”

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