A CONTROVERSIAL Labour candidate for Pudsey has been accused of comparing celebrating the death of Tony Blair to celebrating the death of Nazi war criminal Adolf Hitler.

Appearing on BBC Radio 5 Live, Jane Aitchison was asked whether a Labour hopeful in Coventry South, Zarah Sultana, should be allowed to stand after unearthed social media posts saw her boast she would "celebrate" the deaths of UK politician Tony Blair and Benjamin Nentanayu, the current prime minister of Israel.

Labour has selected Ms Aitchison in the hopes of ousting the long-standing Conservative MP Stuart Andrew from his seat with just a 331 majority.

In the interview, where Mr Andrew and Liberal Democrat candidate Ian Downling were also put under pressure, Ms Aitchison said: "People say things that are very, very passionate, and they say things that are wrong, but I don't think that what she's saying there is necessarily worse than looking down on the people of Grenfell who died in a fire which is what we've experienced."

Ms Aitchison admitted the comments were “not good” but when asked to directly state whether she felt Ms Sultana should be allowed to stand, she remained silent for 12.5 seconds before answering.

She told journalist Emma Barnett: “I think I'd like to talk to her and see what she was really trying to say and if she is apologising, if she's apologising then, I think that would be okay.

“People do celebrate death sometimes. It's not good. Is it? Is it really good to celebrate that? It's not. But people do sometimes because they feel strongly about whatever that person represented.”

Asked whether she was defending celebrating the death of former Prime Minister Mr Blair, Ms Aitchison said: “No, I'm not, what I'm saying is that people for instance, they celebrated the death of Hitler.”

It's not the first time Ms Aitchison has been wrapped up in scandal which the radio host made reference to.
In April last year it was uncovered she had called the Royal Family “scroungers” and suggested Waitrose shoppers are “scum”.

She later apologised for the posts.

But today, Ms Aitchison explained: "I was challenged during a live radio interview about a case I knew nothing about. I apologise for causing offence, but I said in the interview that I did not condone anyone celebrating the death of anyone, and I do not."

A party source from Labour said it believes the candidate did not make the comparison that is being reported across both local and national media.

The spokesperson said: "She condemns the comments made about Tony Blair several times during the interview.”