UK Politics

Tory MP Philip Hollobone Praises Interpal

It all started with a decision by the owner and chairman of Kettering Town Football Club, Imraan Ladak, to protest about the decision of Lloyds TSB to insist on the withdrawal of banking services by the Islamic Bank of Britain from Interpal.

Ladak explained his intention to return the award in a statement on the club’s website: “Lloyds TSB’s plans can only result in escalating the horrific suffering of innocent children, supported by those with racially motivated agendas. I no longer trust that Lloyds TSB follow the equal opportunities and anti-racist principles the Asian Jewel Awards are based upon.”

“We give money to the charity in good faith that they give it on to people that are in desperate need,” he said. “I have faith in the UK Charity Commission, the United Nations and the Government, that in this day and age where everything is so heavily scrutinised, that nothing is wrong with the charity. We don’t understand why Lloyds are taking action, and until someone gives us justified reasons, we will carry on wearing Interpal on our shirts.”

Unfortunately, Interpal retains the services of Carter Ruck Solicitors. They sue at the drop of a hat.  Discussion of Interpal’s activities is therefore impossible: unless you’re prepared to engaged in lengthy and expensive litigation.

What I can say, however is the following:

  • Interpal is designated and banned in the United States as a funder of Hamas.
  • Interpal is banned in Australia for the same reason.
  • Ditto in Canada.
  • The BBC’s Panorama investigated links between Interpal and Hamas. Interpal did not sue the BBC.

I am therefore slightly surprise to hear that the Tory MP, Philip Hollobone, quoted as follows:

The club’s decision to carry Interpal’s logo on their shirts has been supported by several MPs, including Philip Hollobone, a Conservative MP for the Kettering constituency.
He said: “Imraan Ladak is understandably upset by Lloyds TSB’s actions, in particular the fact that no proper explanation has been forthcoming. It is a great credit to Imraan Ladak, the club and the borough, that the club is seen to be involved in such a worthwhile organisation.”

Er, right.

We’ve talked about the various recent legal developments in other countries which evidently led LloydsTSB to protect its legal position by revoking banking services from Interpal before, and I won’t rehearse them here. I’m assuming that, as a politician, Philip Hollobone has sufficient interest in current affairs and law to understand the compliance and legal obligations of an international banking group, too.

However, despite knowing what he must know about Interpal, Philip Hollobone has come out as a supporter of its activities.

You normally associate this sort of thing with the fringes of the Labour Party, and the odd deranged Liberal Democrat.

(Hat tip: Mr Eugenides, who also notes that Ladak’s commitment to “anti-racist principles” hasn’t prevented him from appointing Ron Atkinson director of the club)

UPDATE

It does seem hugely out of character for a man who had this to say, in the House of Commons:

Will Her Majesty’s Government grant assurances that they will remain steadfast against Hamas and remain committed to all the preconditions set by the Quartet on 30 January? Will the Minister also make assurances that Her Majesty’s Government will not become lenient in interpreting the preconditions set by the Quartet? It is unacceptable when the Foreign Secretary says, as he did in Riyadh only a few weeks ago, that recognition of Israel does not mean a formal declaration by Hamas, but just a practical acceptance of the “reality” of the Jewish state. Hamas, in its entirety, is a terrorist organisation proscribed by the European Union. Will the Minister join me in condemning the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the EU for recently meeting the Hamas Speaker of the Palestinian Parliament?

In conclusion, Britain should stand united with Israel against Hamas and remain vigilant that Hamas recognises Israel, ends terrorism and accepts a two-state solution based on the road map to peace.

Perhaps he has changed his mind.

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