A Green Party councillor has apologised for “any upset my comments caused about the Gaza conflict” after he was criticised for his local election victory speech when he shouted “Allahu Akbar”.

After Mothin Ali was elected in the Gipton and Harehills ward for Leeds City Council at the count in the city on Friday, he said: “We will not be silent. We will raise the voice of Gaza. We will raise the voice of Palestine. Allahu Akbar (God is great).”

In his acceptance speech, recorded on his TikTok channel, Mr Ali stood in front of a Palestinian flag as he said: “This is a win for the people of Gaza.”

The video shows Green Party supporters arguing with their rivals and one of Mr Ali’s team shouting: “Palestine will be free.”

The Leeds Jewish Representative Council has written to the Green Party leadership asking for Mr Ali’s suspension, saying the acceptance speech is the culmination of Mr Ali’s “substantial history of views which are concerning to the Jewish community”.

Mr Ali said the criticism he has received since Friday has led to him being subject to “hate and hostility” and he pointed out that “Allahu Akbar” is used as an expression of gratitude and celebration by Muslims.

He issued a statement through the Leeds Green Party which said: “I am sorry for any upset my comments caused about the Gaza conflict. That was not my intention.”

Mr Ali said that, like many across the world, he has been “deeply impacted by the dreadful conflict currently under way in Gaza”.

He added: “I do not support violence on either side: violence leads to more violence and this is what I have tried to convey.

“I have consistently called for an immediate ceasefire and a release of all hostages.

“I hope to be working with a broad coalition including both the Jewish and Muslim Greens soon to discuss sensible ways for us to work on communicating our shared passion of bringing the conflict to an end.”

Mr Ali said that his election last week was “one of the proudest moments of my life” and said there had been inaccurate reporting of his acceptance speech which “has led to me being subject to a lot of hate and hostility”.

The councillor added: “I should also make clear that it is not unusual for somebody of my faith to use the words ‘Allahu Akbar’ as an expression of gratitude and celebration. Some have sought to misrepresent this and it suggests Islamophobia to me.

“I am not a career politician but I have campaigned for Gipton and Harehills for many years and have been consistently urged to speak up for these communities and on the issue of Palestine, which I will continue to do.”

Simon Myerson KC, the chair of the Leeds Jewish Representative Council, has published a letter he has written to Green Party co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay, calling for Mr Ali to be suspended.

Mr Myerson’s letter outlined what he says is Mr Ali’s “substantial history of views which are concerning to the Jewish community”.

He said: “You have known about Mr Ali’s views for a considerable time.

“It is 48 hours since he was elected, and your silence has now gone past the time during which – I accept – you must have been considering how exactly you cope with the disastrous effect of the video of his behaviour at his count.

“It is time for you to stop thinking about yourselves, and to think of the people directly affected by your choices. Those who want public support must condescend to explain themselves to the public.”

Mr Myerson said: “It is wholly wrong that your party should seek to benefit from his views and his behaviour. It is antithetical to the ethics of which you boast. It is nothing more than hypocrisy.”

Mr Ali won Gipton and Harehills with 3,070 votes – 747 more than his Labour rival.

The Green Party said it is fully investigating all of the context around this matter and has nothing further to add at this moment.