- Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend) has made the claims
- Says it has been in talks with both the Tory and Labour leadership
- Mend is said to have links to a number of extremists
Muslim Engagement and Development have reportedly claimed they can influence up to 30 seats at the General election. Pictured Sufyan Ismail
A Muslim group with links to extremists has claimed it can influence up to 30 seats at the election, it has been reported.
Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend) was said to have boasted that they can act as 'kingmakers' when the country goes to the polls.
The group, which wants to let British Muslims fight in Syria without fear of prosecution, has bragged that it is in talks with both the Conservatives and Labour, according to the Daily Telegraph.
At least one election candidate is said to have been approached by a high-profile Muslim and offered campaign money in return for back the group's 'Muslim Manifesto,' the newspaper reported.
Sufyan Ismail, Mend's chief executive, was said to have claimed to be able to influence up to 30 seats during a talk at the Zakariyya Central Mosque in Bolton.
'Right now, we are negotiating with the Labour leadership, we are negotiating with the Tory leadership and insh'allah [God willing] will start with the Lib Dem leadership as well, where we have a list of manifesto pledges,' he reportedly said, according to the Telegraph.
'The Muslim vote is worth ten ordinary votes because… we are heavily concentrated in a few areas,' he said.
'Anybody who can give any one party 10, 20, 30 seats, like we can, they have to listen to you.'
The group's 48 page manifesto does not make mention of wanting to let British Muslims fight in Syria.
Azad Ali, who has supported the killing of British soldiers, is Mend's director of engagement.
It is also reportedly linked to extremist Abu Eesa Niamatullah and promotes hate preacher Haitham al-Haddad.
The Labour Party reportedly denied the claims that it was negotiating with Mend, according to the Telegraph.
The Conservatives have been contacted by the MailOnline for comment.