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Archive for November 23rd, 2010

Anyone who followed this blog in the weeks leading up to last month’s mayoral election would have come across Bodrul Islam. He was the groom at the wedding Jim Fitzpatrick waked out of.

After that incident, he then joined Respect and dabbled his interesting and rather loud debating style in the choppy waters of Tower Hamlets politics. He tried to become a councillor last May, but failed. He then became one of Lutfur Rahman’s most active cheerleaders.

Facebook was his preferred medium and in September, you’ll recall this post here, when I revealed his announcement to the world that:

Part of me wants to laugh at the dismantling of the labour party but the serious part of me sees the grotesque injustice against lutfur. I personally think he should do what ken livingstone did, stand as an independent. With his popularity he will win, as the block bengali vote will be activated like never before.

Well, only a month after Lutfur was elected, Bodrul is still enlightening us through his Facebook rants. It seems that he is upset that Lutfur’s camp have been offering positions to the Tories and Lib Dems, and at the same time denying they received any help from the IFE in his election win.

On Saturday, he posted the following comments on his Facebook site.

Bodrul Islam It’s about time I revealed some honest truth about the mayor’s camp. As someone who was heavily involved with the campaign and who is now being shunned by those who use to call me everyday, I intend to show how self-interested these politicians are. No one, not even lutfur’s camp in innocent in tower hamlets politics.

On Monday, he posted the following:
Bodrul Islam I don’t understand why the mayor’s team deny they have a strong relationship with the ife. Ife are a moderate organisation, so why this lie? I mean the mayor’s main advisor was an ife activist and his campaign headquarters were staffed by ife members/ activists.
An hour later, he wrote:
Bodrul Islam They really need a proper PR person. I hope they don’t try and recruit alistair campbell, then again you never know whth these guys, they wanted to co-opt cllr gould who was a participant in the infamous dispatches programme. I mean if they are that desperate to get into the labour’s camp they may as well offer the amoral abbas a cabinet position. Or even jeory and gilligan.
And then a few hours later he had an angry exchange with Sultana Begum, who remains pro-Lutfur. Here’s what he warned her:
Bodrul Islam Oh readers sultana still pretending that she doesn’t know about this ife/mayor’s camp connection. People I will send you an inbox message sultana sent me during the election warning us that it would be politically damaging for the mayor if he admits he collaborates with respect and ife. I will upload it tomorrow. Hopefully her deceptive ploy will be discovered by all.
My old mate, Carole Swords, Respect’s chair and a past master at winding people up (she once chucked glass of water over Marc Francis in the council chamber and then, perfectly within her rights, refused a police request to leave the premises), has been trying to calm him down.
But I do hope Bodrul continues: we’d love to see this email….
UPDATE – 5.30pm
Andrew Gilligan has just posted similar observations on his blog at The Telegraph. He has extracted further comments from Bodrul’s Facebook page:

“Let’s not beat around the bush there has always been a strategic relationship between Respect, the IFE and the mayor’s camp. That presents to me no problems as all three groups are moderate organisations [sic] who have similar policy considerations. The mayor’s campaign co-ordination was heavily influenced by Respect and IFE activists. It was collectively and cohesively planned by the groups…

“We got activated and campaigned day and night for the mayor. It is no exaggeration that most of the campaigners during the election were either Respect or IFE activists. I was a polling agent for lutfur rahman in bromley by bow and chief co-ordinator. I was involved in a lot of the collaborative high-level meetings where I also met IFE activists…

“OK then Sultana [another poster on Facebook], do you not remember a strategic house meeting where you and I were present, along with Lutfur and [now deputy mayor] Ohid [Ahmed], [Lutfur-supporting councillor] Rania [Khan], Rania’s mum and a senior IFE member. Or was this a figment of my imagination? I will also give even greater details of other more strategic meetings of the way the mayor’s camp was desperate for Respect’s and IFE’s support.”

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A commenter called Coco Whip posted the following for approval on this blog last night. I think it’s worthy of a post in its own right. It is a letter sent by the Tower Hamlets Labour group to Cllr Kabir Ahmed following a press release he and Cllr Shahed Ali issued on November 10 and detailed here. Here’s the letter:

Strictly Private and Confidential

12 November 2010

Re: Press Release 10.11.2010

Dear Cllr Ahmed,

On Wednesday 10th November 2010, you issued a press statement, co-signed by Councillor Shahed Ali, in which you both questioned the Labour Group’s intention to cooperate with Mayor Rahman. This was also reported on Channel S, the same evening. I have attached a copy of your statement for reference.

I would like to ask for clarity on some of the points you have made. So that you have an opportunity to respond, I would ask that you reply in writing to me, by 12 noon on Wednesday 17th November.

Firstly, your statement indicates your reasons for ‘breaking the Labour Group Whip. I would like to ask how you will do this and in what context?

Secondly, your statement offers your ‘support for working with independent Mayor Rahman’ and you refer to an ‘emergency motion of non-cooperation’ that was passed at the Group meeting. I would like some further information on how you intend to support the Mayor and how your position differs from the motion passed at the Labour Group meeting of October 25th, a section of which I have copied below.

• To continue to work to further Labour values for the benefit of residents of Tower Hamlets

• To work constructively with the Mayor and other parties, where to do so would be for the benefit of local residents, and to oppose him where we think his decisions and actions are not in the best interests of the Borough and its residents.

Finally, I would like to offer you the opportunity to withdraw the comments you made in your statement.

I trust that you will respond to this request in a comradely fashion and I look forward to hearing from you by Wednesday 17th November.

Yours Sincerely,

Cllr. Anwar Khan
Chief Whip

Cc. TH Labour Group Executive

I’ll look into what their response was.

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