In February, I highlighted this taxi claim by Ohid Ahmed, Lutfur’s deputy mayor.
And I wonder what the barons at Unison feel about him charging taxpayers £140 for a return trip from Mulberry Place to their Euston Road HQ on Dec 14, 2011. Maybe, like millions of others who have no choice but to suffer it every day, Ohid just dislikes the Northern Line.
A couple of weeks later, Ohid, in trying to actually justify this spending said how dare people criticise him for going to a “BME event”. Quite why going to a BME event allows you to steal from the taxpayer is anyone’s guess.
Thanks to our industrious Mulberry Mole, we now know what this event was: a 70th birthday party for Jesse Jackson – organised by Labour’s Ethnic Minority Task Force, which is chaired by MP Keith Vaz.
Peter Golds, in a letter to council boss Stephen Halsey today, complains the event could not have been anything other than political and, as such, he has demanded Ohid repay the money and an investigation.
Remember again, that even if Ohid was so desperately busy that he couldn’t take the Tube, the standard black cab fare from the town hall to the Unison building is about £25, according to online calculators. How he got to £140 is yet to be explained.
Here is Peter’s letter to Mr Halsey..
Dear Mr Halsey
Re: Cllr Ohid Ahmed, Council funded taxi for political purposes
On 14th December 2011, Cllr Ohid Ahmed charged the council for a taxi fare of £140.89. This was to travel from the Town Hall to the Unison Headquarters, 130 Euston Road, NW1 2AY.
The event, held at the Unison HQ, was organised by the Labour Party and Cllr Ahmed was invited by Keith Vaz MP. The Rt Hon Ed MIliband MP was also in attendance. I attach a copy of the invitation.
There is no way that this event could be considered as anything but political. The Unison office are within a few minutes walking distance of Kings Cross Underground, which can be reached from Mulberry Place, at that time of the day in about half an hour by taking a DLR to Bank and changing to the Northern Line. At 6.30pm there was no shortage of trains.
Last week the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria came under fire and issued an apology for using a hired car to travel to non official functions. At full council last Wednesday Ohid Ahmed expressed his interest on Lord Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public, which do not include charging tax payers for using taxis to attend party political events.
I believe that this needs to be fully investigated and that Ohid Ahmed should repay the £140.89 and give a full explanation as to some of the other fares in the £1,482 he charged the public between in a period of eight months.
I look forward to hearing as to how this will be investigated.
And here’s the invitation: