Phil Woolas, the man notorious for playing the race card in May’s general election is in the new shadow Home Office team, responsible for immigration, race relations and other matters.

Phil Woolas - racist leaflet

The Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth and a former immigration minister, has been appointed to Ed Miliband’s shadow ministerial team.

This leaflet was issued on polling day itself – 6 May. The text reads:

‘Extremists are trying to hijack this election. They want you to vote Lib Dem to punish Phil for being strong on immigration. The Lib Dems plan to give hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants the right to stay. It is up to you? Do you want the extremists to win?

This is tastefully placed alongside images of what appear to be Islamic extremists brandishing placards with slogans like ‘Kill those who insult Islamism’.

Voters are urged: ‘Please get out. Vote for Phil Woolas. Stop the extremists in their tracks. Now.’

As the Political Scrapbook blog previously highlighted, the Ritchie Report – which investigated the circumstances behind violence and rioting in Oldham in 2001 – included this paragraph:

‘The BNP has exacerbated problems and undoubtedly by distribution of crude leaflets and other activity done much to stir up tensions. The mainstream political parties have a big role to play in countering this threat, as do churches and other organisations.’

Less than a month ago Liberal Conspiracy published an article called The Labour Party should expel Phil Woolas. Ed Miliband has instead given him a job as a junior shadow minister.

Luna17 activist

Alex Snowdon

Alex Snowdon is a Counterfire activist in Newcastle. He is active in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and the National Education Union.​ He is the author of A Short Guide to Israeli Apartheid (2022).