I was sceptical at first, but a commenter called ‘dog in the street’ first raised it on this thread about Lutfur Rahman’s mayoral advisers here.
After finally getting it confirmed through a council source (Takki Sulaiman’s press office refused to comment), I wrote this in the Sunday Express’s Crossbencher diary column at the weekend.
OH, HOW the mighty are fallen. Labour’s former Justice and later Communities minister Shahid Malik, who lost his seat in Dewsbury in 2010 after it emerged he had claimed £730 on expenses for a massage chair and another £2,600 on a home cinema system, is now scrounging for work at Britain’s supposedly cash-starved councils.
Crossbencher has discovered he is working as an official “equalities” adviser for the controversial Independent mayor of Tower Hamlets, in east London, where he is being paid £200 a day. When we asked the council how he was appointed and for examples of his work, it refused to say, refusing even to confirm he existed.
So, there we are. An ex-Labour minister is advising Lutfur for one day a week on £200.
If someone can find the advert placed for this job, can they please send it me because I’m curious. I’m also puzzled why a council that prides itself on its equalities issues – and which has an army of staff dealing with such matters – feels it needs an extra body.
Malik used to work for the Commission for Racial Equality and was cleared of any wrongdoing with his expenses.