Vile and insulting

8 Mar

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Remember how Andrea Leadsom torpedoed her own bid for the Tory leadership when she said being a mother gave her “a very real stake in the future of our country,” in contrast to the childless Theresa May? Even Tory MPs described the remarks as “vile” and “insulting.”

Well evidently Cllr Lakmini Shah doesn’t.

In a call with a local Labour member, a recording of which I have heard, she says Rokhsana Fiaz doesn’t understand how important free school meals are because “she’s not married, she hasn’t got children, so she don’t know how hard it is for parents.”

Member: “Cllr Shah?”

Lakmini Shah: “Yes, it is.”

M: “Hi, yeah, I just spoke to you. Basically, I’m with my wife right now. And she’s saying, telling me to vote for Rokhsana, but I told her that, look, you know, they are going to scrap the free school meals. We’ve got two kids in school in, like, infants and one in nursery, so…”

LS: “Yeah”

M; “…but can you explain to her – I’ve put you on loudspeaker – can you just say what you said earlier…”

LS: “Okay”

M: “…about the free school meals?”

LS: “Okay. So Robin has had free school meals for children [pause] and that cost £3 million a year to the council. So Rokhsana says parents should be… because she don’t have children, she’s not married, she hasn’t got children so she don’t know how hard it is for parents. I’ve got three children and I know how hard it is to pay for school meals.

“So they, um, going to stop this free school meals to save this 3 million. I’m not sure if it’s 3 million or 6 million a year, I have to find that number out.”

This is absolutely outrageous.

Lakmini Shah isn’t just some random member canvassing votes for Sir Robin, she’s Cabinet Member for Work & Skills and Domestic Violence Prevention.

Sir Robin needs to take ownership of this and offer Rokhsana Fiaz a full and unreserved apology for what is being said by his campaign.

And Cllr Shah should resign as candidate for East Ham South. If she doesn’t, members should take the decision for her.


5 Responses to “Vile and insulting”

  1. Gill Hay March 8, 2018 at 13:45 #

    It’s very unfortunate that a current (and prospective) Labour councillor has apparently made such unpleasant personal attacks on anyone in the Labour party, let alone on a candidate in an internal Labour Party selection process. It’s especially disturbing that her assertions were apparently about Free School Meals, a key Council policy tackling child poverty that’s now even more needed as Newham currently has one of the worst child poverty rates in the country. It’s also, ironically, a policy that was under threat just a few months ago. The Mayor then responded to pressure from local schools to reinstate funding for Free School Meals this year. Free School Meals will now be even more necessary given recent Government proposals to further limit them, a funding cut which the national Labour Party has announced it would be challenging. Given all these circumstances I expect Sir Robin Wales will want to condemn the misinformation and the unpleasant personal attack.

  2. Sheila Thomas March 10, 2018 at 01:02 #

    Deselect Mrs Shah I hope her ward understands finally what a disgusting controlling woman she really is.To accuse an other woman of not understanding because she has no children is truely below the belt.
    Ms Fiaz sees how hard it is for mothers in Newham going to food banks to make a dinner for her family.She knows just how vital it is and comforting to know that children are getting at least one hot meal 5 days a week.
    How can Mrs Shah the mother of 3 and well paid cabinate member with responsibility for helping vulnerable families refuse to publicly apologise.
    Who made the phone call? You did Mrs Shah no one else.You should understand how recording phone conversations work .Like everything on social media it is out there and cannot be taken back or denied.

  3. Down to Earth March 11, 2018 at 16:46 #

    Word is that formal Complaints have been made in the appropriate places.

  4. Lisa Evans March 13, 2018 at 08:15 #

    I do not see anything wrong with Cllr Shah’s statement. Her view is that she can greater empathise with parents and the hardships they face as she is a mother herself.

    I agree with that view. I do not have children and although I can appreciate it must be difficult as a parent I do not and cannot fully know how hard it really is.

    Furthermore, freedom of expression is the foundation of democracy and Cllr Shah has right to communicate and express herself in any medium she chooses. It’s your choice to take offence from it. To tape someone without their permission is also disingenuous and vile.

    • Sheila Thomas March 13, 2018 at 22:52 #

      She not only said councillor Fiaz woud remove free meals she also lied yes lied about putting up council tax.If you are going to call people and lie do not be surprised if it gets aired on social media.

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