Further to my post here about Anwar Khan’s criticism of his fellow Labour colleagues, I’m told he’s now been sacked from the group’s shadow cabinet.
Tower Hamlets Labour has issued this statement:
“Following his press statement in December Cllr Khan was relieved from his Shadow Cabinet post as we felt that his actions were not compatible with remaining a Labour spokesperson. His comments were disappointing, but there is no conspiracy to try remove him from Labour group. We have reminded Cllr Khan of the need to meet the high standards set out in the Labour Party rules and will take appropriate action should he further break the rules he signed up to when he became a Labour councillor.”
And they have also sent these quotes to me:
A London Regional Labour Party Spokesperson said:
“The Labour Party has raised the bar and is determined to put the best possible team of candidates before the people of Tower Hamlets in next May’s Borough Council elections.
“As with selections in all London boroughs, council candidate hopefuls in Tower Hamlets went through the most rigorous selection process which was overseen by London Regional Labour Party.
“Those who fail to meet the higher standards required to stand as Labour Party candidates will be understandably disappointed. However, we believe it is unacceptable that Anwar Khan appears to be using legitimate concerns raised publicly about his own behaviour in an attempt to blame others for his deselection.”
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Sirajul Islam, said:
“Whilst the selection for council candidates is an issue for the London Labour Party I am proud to be part of a talented and united party which has selected candidates from all backgrounds and walks of life.
“I am sure that Cllr Khan’s claims are entirely baseless and are clearly motivated by personal frustration at his legitimate deselection. Whilst it’s sad that he chose to make these unfounded accusations, I and my colleagues remain focused on winning back the Town Hall to help build a better future for Tower Hamlets. ”
I’ve also now obtained Anwar’s witness statement to the council’s “independent investigation” into his dispute with a parking warden. Once I’ve checked a couple of points, I’ll publish it. It makes for fascinating reading.
One point to note here though: Lutfur’s group is very keen to use this fallout to portray Anwar as another victim of another Labour injustice. There has been contact between the Lutfurites and Anwar over all this.
It’s the budget setting meeting of the full council next month and Anwar’s vote could be crucial to Labour getting it’s majority. If he’s intent on inflicting maximum damage, he could easily cross the floor. He could also abstain.
I have to say, it’s interesting that the other councillor to have been deselected, Mizan Chaudhary, has so far remained silent. Quite a contrast.