On 18th November 2019, Mr Bashir’s comments were exposed and it was reported that the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Leeds North East had condemned them as “repellent antisemitism”. It was further reported that, in an earlier speech, Mr Bashir had described the chair of the session — the German politician Elmar Brok — as an “apologist” for Israel, saying: “I have never seen such an apologist as our president. He should be an emissary for Israel.” Mr Bashir was reported to have apologised for his remarks, saying: “I deeply regret the comments I made around brainwashing — this was borne from a personal experience but it was completely wrong and I apologise unreservedly for it.”
It was further reported that Mr Bashir had been appointed by the central Party as the Conservative candidate for the election without any selection process having been undertaken. Moreover, with nominations having already closed, it was reported to be too late to remove his name from the ballot paper.
On 20th November 2019, it was reported that Mr Bashir had been suspended, with a Conservative spokesperson reportedly having said: “Mr Bashir has been suspended from the party pending investigation and election support has been withdrawn.”
The Labour candidate for Leeds North East, Fabian Hamilton, was reported as saying: “Anybody that holds such offensive views is not fit to hold public office, whatever party they represent. Amjad Bashir has insulted the entire Jewish community in North East Leeds with his clearly antisemitic remarks and I share the community’s anger. I am absolutely appalled.”
Mr Bashir stood as the Conservative candidate in the election on December 12th 2019, but was not successful.
At the time of writing, on 21st August 2020, the results of an inquiry into Mr Bashir’s conduct remain unknown.
In August 2020, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to both Mr Bashir and the Conservative Party, but did not receive a response.