'Marxists have hijacked family's quest for justice'
By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor
Campaigners with an "extreme Left-wing agenda" have been accused of exploiting the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian shot by police who mistook him for a suicide bomber.
Two of the key spokesmen for the family of the 27-year-old electrician have ties to groups linked to anti-war and anti-capitalist causes.
Asad Rehman, who has helped set up the Justice4Jean campaign, recently acted as a political adviser for George Galloway, the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow who was elected in May on an anti-war platform. He was described yesterday as a "Marxist agitator" and former leader of the Stop the War coalition, which organised the 2003 march in London against the Iraq war.
He has told Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, to resign. Yasmin Khan, another spokesman, has ties to the Radical Activist Network, which is opposed to "corporate globalisation".
Brian Coleman, a Conservative member of the London Assembly, has questioned the way the campaign has apparently become political, a claim the organisers deny.
He said: "There are a lot of questions Londoners need answers to. But I say this to the family: don't allow yourselves to be distracted by the extreme Left-wing agenda."
The Justice4Jean website describes Mr de Menezes's death as "murder" and says Sir Ian deliberately misled the public. It also aims to "end the shoot-to-kill policy and campaign against the rising tide of racism and the attack on civil liberties in the UK".
• A briefing paper by the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College, London, published yesterday said the Government's counter-terrorist strategy had to be carefully made to avoid further polarising opinion among Muslims.
Prof Michael Clarke, the author, also questioned cultivating "mainstream" Muslim groups, such as the Muslim Council of Britain, which had little influence over extremists while promoting its own political agenda.