Archive for May 18th, 2010

Moonlight over Ali

The scandal that is Lutfur Ali has yet to run its course. There’s an interesting piece on a fellow Tower Hamlets watcher’s blog here at Tower Hamlets Watch.

The writer makes reference to a letter I wrote to the East London Advertiser here in March, in which I asked whether Mr Ali continued to be paid during any “gardening leave” following his enforced resignation for moonlighting. I’ve been told by a senior council source that the answer to that is emphatically ‘no’. I’m told that chief executive Kevan Collins was seething about the issue and that it was made clear that Mr Ali should not drain taxpayers a single penny more.

Where Mr Ali is now, I don’t know, but judging from the contents of a response to a Freedom of Information request that’s been winged my way, he can afford to stay low for a while.

For the National College for Leadership of Schools has disclosed that while he was supposedly carrying out his supposedly strenuous full time £120,000-a-year job as council assistant chief executive, he also earned up to £144,000 for 13 months’ consultancy work at their outfit.

I say “up to” because the college has declined to be specific about his daily rate, merely that it was between £450 – £900 plus VAT. In addition, from June last year, he was entitled to claim £80 a day for “travel and subsistence”. As the college is based in faraway Nottingham, it’s doubtful he did actually travel there, but with superhuman “mind like a sieve” Mr Ali, anything is possible. I mean, the man is clearly an energetic genius of the highest order.

Consider the following. He was appointed to the council (dubiously) on September 1, 2008. Yet despite the heavy workload that must have greeted him upon arrival, he managed that month 13 days of consultancy work at the National College. They were all weekdays. The next month, he squeezed in 15, in November 12, in December 14, in January 2009 13, and so it went on until his contract ended in September that year when he had amassed 156 beautiful moonlit days. That works out at an average of half his working week every week.

Where on earth did he find all that time? Were his contributions to council meetings so dull, laughable and lacking that he was able to quietly slope off without anyone noticing? Well, according to Mr Collins that couldn’t have been the case. Upon Mr Ali’s “resignation”, Mr Collins said he would “would miss working” him, that his “significant contributions” had been “considerable” and that he “leaves a legacy of achievements”.

As Tory opposition leader Cllr Peter Golds says: “This is beginning to appear a complete scandal.” He has demanded Mr Collins give an explanation.

Don’t hold your breath.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: