London Mayor Sadiq Khan refused to confirm if he will petition the home secretary to proscribe the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel terror organisation Hezbollah, saying he will need to consider if it is the “right thing to do”.
After a Christians United for Israel (CUFI) petition calling for the UK to ban Hezbollah outright reached over 5,000 signatures UKIP Assembly Member David Kurten confronted London mayor, Sadiq Khan on whether he would approach the home secretary to call for the political wing of Hezbollah to be proscribed as a terror organisation, “because that will close the loophole to stop people marching through the streets of London with a flag with a gun on it”.
Kurten referenced Hezbollah flags flying at the anti-Israel al-Quds Day march on Sunday, which caused “great distress and alarm to lots of people”.
A second tense exchange occurred between Conservative AM Andrew Boff. Boff “was asked the mayor for clarification over what constitutes a banned terror organization after Hezbollah flags were seen at a march in the capital earlier this month.” Khan approved an annual Al-Quds march where Islamic terrorist flags were flown and anti-Semitic sentiments were shouted.
Khan, remaining smug and defiant, dodged each question Boff threw at him.
Frustrated, Boff asked again, “Will you, Mr. Mayor, look after the interests of the Jewish population of London and write to the home secretary to ask for the clarification of the rules on what is a banned [terror] organization?”
Again, Khan wouldn’t answer simply “yes” or “no,” only that he would take it into consideration.
This led to an incredibly tense moment between the two men, as the annoyed mayor asked Boff to “calm down.” The chairwoman tried to maintain order, but Khan continued talking over her.
This is not the first time Khan has refused to stand up against Hezbollah, in 2016, he was asked by Assembly Member Kemi Badenoch: “What action is the Metropolitan Police Service taking against the use of flags representing designated terrorist organisations as seen during the recent al-Quds Day march in London on July 3rd?”
Khan refused to directly answer the question and responded that he understood “the concerns of the Jewish community, and the distress these flags cause many Londoners,” before adding, “It would not be appropriate … to comment on an ongoing police investigation.”
Khan drew a distinction between the armed terrorist “wing” of Hezbollah and the “political wing” of the organization, saying he would not commit to a blanket ban on the group that included said “political wing.”