Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Labour suspends candidate over 'unacceptable and offensive' selfie at scene of Tunisian beach slaughter

  • Amran Hussain, 29, posed for a selfie where gunman slaughtered tourists
  • Army reservist has defended his actions saying selfies are not 'banned'
  • Labour tonight slammed his behaviour and announced he was suspended
  • The attack on Friday killed 38 people including up to 30 British tourists
Amran Hussain, 29, sparked outrage after being pictured taking a photo of himself using a 'selfie stick' on the spot where at least 18 British tourists were murdered.
The Army reservist and former NHS England officer defended his actions saying selfies are not 'banned'.
But a Labour spokesperson tonight hit out at Mr Hussain's callous behaviour, adding: 'This is completely unacceptable and offensive behaviour and he has been suspended.'
Labour parliamentary candidate Amran Hussain, 29, (centre) has sparked outrage by posing for a selfie at the exact spot where a crazed gunman massacred 38 holidaymakers
Labour parliamentary candidate Amran Hussain, 29, (centre) has sparked outrage by posing for a selfie at the exact spot where a crazed gunman massacred 38 holidaymakers
Mr Hussain was pictured holding his selfie stick aloft as he stood in front of a pile of flowers and tributes where fanatic Seifeddine Rezgui targeted tourists at the Tunisian beach resort of El Kantaoui near Sousse on Friday morning.
The attack killed 38 people including up to 30 British tourists – making it the worst terror attack on Britons since the July 7 London bombings in 2005.
Mr Hussain, who stood for the Labour Party in North East Hampshire at the general election last month, has now defended his actions saying he visited Marhaba beach in Sousse to pay his 'respects' and pointing out selfies are not 'banned'.
Mr Hussain told MailOnline: 'Selfies are not banned. I don't see anything wrong with it. We were not capturing a happy moment, we were very distressed after what happened and we went down to the beach for 30 minutes to show solidarity.
'We laid flowers and wrote a tribute and prayed to those who lost their lives in the horrific massacre. We would have asked someone else to take a picture of us, but we were in the moment and we wanted to take a picture with the tribute and flowers we had put down.
'It has been taken completely out of context. It was all very upsetting and we just wanted to have a reminder of what happened. I just happened to be using a selfie stick as that is what I always use.'
Hundreds have taken to Twitter to condemn the 'disgusting' picture, saying it sums up the 'selfie or selfish generation'.
Alice Simmonds said: 'Absolutely shameless for a Labour candidate. He should know better.'
Michael Wilton tweeted: 'This is a disgrace. The families haven't even started grieving.'
Mr Hussain was on a week-long holiday with four friends, who are also pictured in the selfie, and they were all staying at the nearby Hotel Palmarina.
He said he did not witness the tragedy, but one of his friends heard shots from their hotel balcony. Mr Hussain's suspension tonight came after David Cameron announced a national minute's silence will be held across Britain at midday on Friday, exactly a week after the atrocity.
Mr Cameron said the whole country would want to 'share in a moment of remembrance' as he announced plans would also be drawn up for a permanent memorial.

The Prime Minister said ISIS posed an existential threat to the British way of life, but vowed: 'We will now cower in the face of terrorism.'
Hundreds of MPs gathered in the House of Commons this afternoon to pay a silent tribute to up to 30 Britons who died in the attack.
Mr Cameron updated MPs on the response to the attack and efforts to bring home the dead and injured.
He told the Commons there would be a nationwide minute's silence at midday on Friday to remember the victims.
'I know the whole country will want to share in a moment of remembrance,' he said.
'So following the act of remembrance we have just held in this House, we will have a national minute's silence on Friday at 12 noon, one week on from the moment of the attack.
'In due course, in consultation with the families, we will also announce plans for a fitting memorial to the victims of this horrific attack.'
The Prime Minister said the whole world had been shocked by the 'horrific attack' on the beach of Sousse in Tunisia.
Home Secretary Theresa May visited the resort today to oversee efforts to identify the dead and help the wounded, as the RAF was put on standby the fly home the bodies of murdered holidaymakers.
The Prime Minister told MPs: 'We will not give up our way of life or cower in the face of terrorism.

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