I know the phrase “you couldn’t make it up” is used with justifiable frequency in Tower Hamlets, but the following email I’ve just received really does defy belief.
Subject: Asking to apologise for vindictive, inaccurate and one sided in your blog-
Dear Ted Jeory,
I have been deeply offended by claims made by you in your blog about me in recent days. While I am obviously pleased that as a result of the the intervention of the council’s chief legal officer, you have removed the claim that I have ‘stolen’ money for taxis from the Authority from your blog, I remain deeply offended by both the nature of the claims made by you and how you have chosen to report them.
I also wish to make it clear that the original claim made by in connection to me and my use of taxis in pursuit of council business is obviously potentially libellous.
I am in discussion with my lawyers and would like to offer you an opportunity to correct this claim in a prominent position on your blog. I would also ask that you now aplogise for making this claim. It is quite clear that the claims you have made, have been taken up by other publications
There is and always has been a clearly established system for the booking and use of taxis in LBTH, as there is in every local authority in the country. In recent months, the Mayor has reviewed and tightened the system still further. The taxis that I used were in accordance with these rules. To suggest otherwise is to allege criminal intent. It would also suggest that the Local Authority has been complicit in criminal activity.
As a councillor, with many years experience of serving the community, I have not claimed other expenses and have continued to use my own car, at my own expense, in pursuance of the majority of these activities.
Finally, it is my opinion that far from trying to present an objective account of events on your blog, it is increasingly vindictive, inaccurate and one sided.
Cllr Ohid Ahmed
I’m not sure what intervention there has been from the council’s chief legal officer, nor what I’m supposed to have removed. I think he’s referring to this post in which I said, “Quite why going to a BME event allows you to steal from the taxpayer is anyone’s guess”.
I know Ohid’s spoken English is not the best, but I had hoped as someone who, according to his latest timesheet, claims to spend up to 40 hours a week reading council papers, his comprehension was a bit better. Maybe his inability to understand the subtle meaning of words and figures of speech is why he takes so long.
He also seems completely unable to understand the sheer crime of his taxi bookings. Yes, crime, Ohid. Crime against the taxpayer. He asks me to apologise. Perhaps he should learn from his colleague Oliur Rahman who had the political nous and decency to say sorry for his own cab usage.
So, here’s a reminder yet again of Ohid’s use of taxis (he lives in Oban Street).
|13.12.10||£52.13||House of Commons|
|10.2.11||£121.71||House of Commons||Return to Mulberry|
|12.2.11||£106.43||Baden Powell House, SW7||Return to Oban St|
|22.3.11||£63.75||Brick Lane||Return to Mulberry|
|28.3.11||£50.61||Bethnal Green Tech College||Return to Oban St|
|28.3.11||£30.68||Bethnal Green Tech College||Return to Oban St, seems
to have been charged twice – see above?
|26.4.11||£59.44||Shadwell Childrens Centre||Return to Mulberry|
|11.5.11||£52.90||Ocean Youth Centre||Return to Mulberry|
|16.5.11||£86.14||London SOAS||Return to Oban St (1-way,
Lutfur also went,returned separately, Lutfur’s total was £64.08)
|14.7.11||£122.65||House of Lords/Shadwell
|Oban St to House of
Lords/House of Lords to Shadwell Centre
|14.7.11||£3.30||Shadwell centre||Return to Oban St|
|2.8.11||£51.69||Pudding Mill Lane DLR||To and from Oban St|
|9.11.13||£22.18||Bethnal Green Police
|From Oban Street|
|6.9.11||£36.11||House of Commons||From Oban St|
|9.11.11||£90.85||London Councils, London
|To and from Mulberry|
|11/1111||£59.45||City Hall||To and from Oban st|
|12.11.11||£66.93||Mansion House||To and from Oban St|
|14.12.11||£140.89||Unison Centre, Euston Road||From Mulberry return to
|28.3.12||£68.44||Government Hospital||From Mulberry return to
|18.4.12||£33.97||Royal London Hospital|
|17.5.12||£32.74||The Royal regency, Manor
|This seems to be a
function/wedding type venue
|17.5.12||£56.34||O2 Centre||Collected from the Royal
|14.6.12||£29.74||The View, E3||Collected from Oban St,
returned (7pm) Chrisp St
And as for his last sentence (oops, better be careful about using that word), this is a blog. It’s not Hansard.
So, if he wants to sue, bring it on. But please don’t steal any more taxipayers’ money doing so.
I don’t know who put him up to sending such a chaotic and feeble email, but they’re clearly taking the piss.
UPDATE – Monday, 9am
I understand that Ohid also threatened the East London Advertiser prior to the publication of this article (see below for Ohid’s quotes). Very stupid. It’s the kind of intimidation tactic that Trotskyites used to indulge in. Now, I wonder who in the Mayor’s circle is from that background… . Dan McCurry in the comments section of this post hints these bullying tactics are due to Labour’s plan to use the taxi business in their campaign next year. “Taxi for Mayor Lutfur”.
Councillors have come under fire after the taxpayer footed the bill for a £140 taxi ride for them to attend a birthday celebration with civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.
Tower Hamlets deputy mayor Cllr Ohid Ahmed shared a cab with Cllrs Shahed Ali and Kabir Ahmed from the town hall in Poplar to an event at trade union UNISON’s headquarters in Euston, triggering calls for an investigation.
Opposition members claim the function – organised by the Labour Party – is political, and have called on Independent Cllr Ahmed to reimburse the public for the trip.
In a letter to council chiefs, Tory group leader Cllr Peter Golds said: “There is no way this event could be considered as anything but political.”
The seven mile journey would cost around £30-£40 in a black cab, according to online calculators.
Euston is also accessible from East India DLR station near the town hall in around 30 minutes on public transport, Transport for London estimates.
Cllr Golds said the fare could only be explained by the possibility of the councillors leaving the cab outside the event, which was in December 2011, with the metre running while they attended.
But the deputy mayor claimed it was his assistant who booked the taxi, and justified it because of his busy schedule that day.
He said: “There’s a huge BME (black and ethnic minority) community in this borough. When they see someone like Jessie Jackson they are inspired and they like it – it’s not a political thing.
“Because of the nature of council business, sometimes you just jump in a taxi because of the time pressure.”