Tag Archives: Labour

Time after time

15 Aug

By the time next year’s election rolls around 16 current members of the council will have held their seats for 20 years or more.

The table below shows exactly how long they’ve been around

Name Date elected Years to date
A SINGH 04/05/1978 39.31
C McAULEY 06/05/1982 35.30
R WALES* 09/07/1992 25.12
I CORBETT 09/07/1992 25.12
L HUDSON 05/05/1994 23.30
B COLLIER 05/05/1994 23.30
E SPARROWHAWK 05/05/1994 23.30
N WILSON 05/05/1994 23.30
C FURNESS 01/05/1997 20.30
Q PEPPIATT 01/05/1997 20.30
U DESAI 07/05/1998 19.30
R CRAWFORD 07/05/1998 19.29
J LAGUDA 07/05/1998 19.29
W VAUGHAN 07/05/1998 19.29
P SATHIANESAN 07/05/1998 19.29
P HOLLAND 07/05/1998 19.29

 *Robin Wales was also previously on the council from 1982 to 1986.

When local branches meet this autumn to select their candidates, one thing they should consider is the urgent need to freshen up the Labour group.

Cunning stunt

9 Aug

Cunning Wales 3

A quiet word in your ear, Sir Robin…

If you were an electorally unsuccessful Scottish Labour politician looking to make a fresh start down south, where would you head for?

Newham might look like a pretty good option.

Certainly Barrie Cunning thinks so. He stood for Labour in the Scottish parliamentary elections last year and came in fourth, all-but-halving the party’s vote in the process. Now he lives in Canning Town and has his eyes firmly fixed on a seat in the council chamber.

As if being a white Scottish male wasn’t advantage enough, a bit of good luck has helped get him further into Sir Robin’s good books.

Back in February, Sir Robin was invited to speak at an Edinburgh Networking Breakfast event on ‘Building Partnership in Development.’ According to the mayor’s register of gifts and hospitality, his flights and accommodation were paid for by Newington Communications, the PR firm Barrie Cunning happens to work for.

And when the mayor took his trip to Cannes in March, one of the sponsors was Berkeley Group. They are clients of Newington Communications. According to his profile, Barrie Cunning works across the development and housing sectors.

So, let me be the first to say “Congratulations on your election, Councillor Cunning.”

It’s a man’s world (again)

30 Jun

The latest issue of the Newham Mag includes details of the allowances paid to the mayor and the 60 other members of the council in the last municipal year (April 2016 to March 2017).

Between them they pocketed over £1.2 million.

But that wasn’t evenly distributed. As you can see from the table below, those receiving most had one important thing in common…

Name Basic £ SRA £ Other £ Total £ Gender
R WALES 81,839 0 0 81,839 M
L HUDSON 10,842 37,735 0 48,577 M
I CORBETT 10,842 34,770 0 45,612 M
F HUSSAIN 10,842 33,735 142 44,719 M
A BAIKIE 10,842 33,735 0 44,577 M
K CLARK 10,842 33,735 0 44,577 M
R CRAWFORD 10,842 33,735 0 44,577 M
C FURNESS 10,842 33,735 0 44,577 M
A MCALMONT 10,842 26,988 0 37,830 M
H ABDULMUHIT 10,842 18,835 0 29,677 M
I IBRAHIM 10,842 14,553 0 25,395 M
L SHAH 10,842 14,056 46 24,944 F
T PAUL 10,842 14,056 0 24,898 M
Mas PATEL 10,842 13,991 0 24,833 M
T WILSON 10,842 11,698 2,079 24,619 F
S BRAYSHAW 10,842 13,494 0 24,336 M
D CHRISTIE 10,842 13,494 0 24,336 M
J LAGUDA 10,842 13,494 0 24,336 F
R TRIPP 10,842 11,807 0 22,649 F
R FIAZ OBE 10,842 11,698 0 22,540 F
S MASTERS 10,842 10,683 0 21,525 F
S PATEL 10,842 10,356 117 21,315 M
P MURPHY 10,842 7,872 0 18,714 M
A CHOWDHURY 10,842 6,747 0 17,589 F
F CLARKE 10,842 6,747 0 17,589 F
A EASTER 10,842 6,747 0 17,589 F
M PATEL 10,842 6,747 0 17,589 M
J MARRIOTT 10,842 6,185 0 17,027 F
T RAHMAN 10,842 6,054 0 16,896 F
U DESAI 10,842 5,623 0 16,465 M
K SCORESBY 10,842 2,249 0 13,091 F
W VAUGHAN 10,842 2,249 0 13,091 M
D WALLS 10,842 2,249 0 13,091 F
N WILSON 10,842 0 452 11,294 M
E SPARROWHAWK 10,902 0 0 10,902 M
O AKIWOWO 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
A ALARICE 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
J ALEXANDER 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
J BECKLES 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
F BOURNE 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
B COLLIER 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
J CORBETT 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
J GRAY 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
A GRIFFITHS 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
Z GULAMUSSEN 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
P HOLLAND 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
O KHAN 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
C MCAULEY 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
C MCLEAN 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
F NAZEER 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
F NEKIWALA 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
A NOOR 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
V OAKESHOTT 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
Q PEPPIATT 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
R RAHMAN 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
P SATHIANESAN 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
A SINGH 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
S THOMAS 10,842 0 0 10,842 F
H VIRDEE 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
J WHITWORTH 10,842 0 0 10,842 M
A ISLAM** 7,636 0 0 7,636 M
E ROBINSON* 2,711 1,125 0 3,835 F
           
Totals: 731,924 500,975 2,837 1,235,735  
  • resigned June 2016
    **elected July 2016

Spin City

15 Mar

Mayoral ally and ‘full-time’ councillor Clive Furness has circulated his Councillor’s Report for March to local members in Canning Town North. The headline item is the recent expulsion/long-term suspension of Cllr Obaid Khan.

After rehashing the Labour group statement he has a pop at his former friend and colleague:

He has begun a disinformation campaign supported by several councillors and members in which he claims to be the victim. We should have been put on notice after the last council elections when he was arrested for fighting with opposition members at the polling station.

That’s not quite how things went down at the time, when Khan was treated as something of a hero.

Sir Robin personally bought him a new shirt to replace the one that got ripped in the fight, which he presented at the Labour victory party after Khan had been released from police cells. The mayor praised him mightily for his commitment to the cause.

And who was it, just a few weeks later, that held the mayor back during his infamous confrontation with the Focus E15 mums at the Newham Show, saving him from making a bad situation much worse? Cllr Obaid Khan.

Even by Newham Labour standards, this is an outrageous bit of spin.

Furness rounds out his section on councillor misconduct by stating with a completely straight face (link added):

Two councillors remain suspended, one pending the outcome of criminal proceedings and one awaiting action from the [National Constitutional Committee].

I wonder how he will attempt to distance himself and Sir Robin from these two when the time comes.

Wrath of Khan

10 Mar

Cllr Obaid Khan, who was handed a two year suspension from the Labour party last week, says that he has been the victim of a political witch hunt.

In a statement he says

“I believe that I am being victimised for having political differences with the local Labour leadership in Newham, as well as asking for processes to be democratic and transparent in the local Labour party.

“I continue to deny the charges and I am taking advise on what further action is available to me. I do not believe that I have been subject to a fair process by any reasonable standard of natural justice in the way the Labour Party has pursued the complaints made against me.”

Cllr Khan claims that although he was initially suspended in December 2015 on the basis of his “behaviour towards other party members at party meetings and in email correspondence” he did not receive specific details of the allegations until January this year – 14 months later.

He further says that the investigation report contained material that was irrelevant to the charges and “gratuitously negative commentary by the party investigators themselves” which was prejudicial to his defense.

Two of the three complainants did not attend the hearing and were therefore unable to be questioned by Cllr Khan or his representatives.

Mr Michael Sullivan, a local Labour Party member who helped Cllr Khan prepare his defence and who attended the hearing, said

“I have a lot of experience of representing trade union members at employer’s discipline hearings and of representing people at Employment and Welfare Benefit Tribunals. I also have a Masters Degree in Law that I undertook when I was a trade union officer responsible for members’ legal cases.

“I can say that the way the case against Councillor Khan was prepared and conducted including the material unrelated to the charges against him that was permitted to be included in the case papers would not be permitted in an employer’s discipline hearings or any Tribunal; and certainly not in any formal court.

“I believe that the conduct of this case reflects badly on the Labour Party, which has fairness and justice among it’s core values”.

Whatever the nature of the charges against Cllr Khan – which have not been made public – the conduct of the Labour party appears to be highly questionable.

And local members might ask why this case has been dealt with ahead of that of Cllr Ahmed Noor, who was the subject of a withering report to the council’s standards board. Cllr Noor’s party membership has been in ‘administrative suspension’ for close to two years.

They might further ask why Cllr Khan’s behaviour warranted his expulsion from the party when the mayor and his chum Cllr Ian Corbett remain members, despite being found guilty of breaching the council’s code of conduct due to their aggressive and bullying behaviour.

Unravelling

2 Mar

The Guardian’s Dave Hill, writing on his new blog, reports that another organisation has declared that its vote was improperly cast in last year’s mayoral trigger ballot:

A second organisation whose vote helped Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales go forward unopposed as Labour candidate for next year’s mayoral election in the borough has effectively substantiated a complaint by local party members about an aspect of the candidate selection process.

Inquiries by national officers of Bectu, the media and entertainment union, have concluded that a branch affiliated to Labour locally had not paid the required fee for 2016, the year the vote took place. In a letter to Labour’s governing National Executive Committee (NEC) sent in January, 47 Newham members had argued that the Bectu vote be declared void partly on those grounds.

Last month the national Fabian Society informed its Newham branch, which also voted “yes” to Sir Robin automatically becoming the candidate for 2018, had breached the society’s own rules for determining how votes in Labour affirmative nomination or “trigger ballots” should be cast.

The Bectu delegate that cast the vote in Sir Robin’s favour was Cllr Susan Masters, the secretary of the Labour Group of councillors. The signatory on the letter purportedly from Newham Fabians was Cllr Tahmina Rahman, mayoral advisor for New Media and Finance. Are we spotting a pattern?

Sir Robin “won” the trigger ballot by 20 votes to 17. Less these two it’s now 18-17, though arguably if the Fabians had held a proper members meeting they’d have voted No, making it 18-18. 

Whatever shaky mandate the mayor had to claim the nomination unopposed has now entirely vanished. Labour needs to cancel the result and run an open selection. It’s what members want and what they deserve.

Khan out

1 Mar

Statement from Newham Labour Group:

Councillor Obaid Khan has been found guilty of three charges of bullying, intimidation, and aggressive behaviour and his Labour Party membership has been cancelled with immediate effect.

This means Councillor Khan [a member for Boleyn ward] is no longer entitled to attend any Labour Party meetings or to be registered as a member of the Labour Group of councillors on the London Borough of Newham.

The decision was made by the Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee following a two day hearing of three separate charges held on 25 and 26 February,

Labour’s chief whip Councillor Steve Bradshaw said:

“Following a long and detailed investigation by the Labour Party, the charges against Councillor Khan were deemed to be of sufficient gravity to be referred to the Party’s National Constitutional Committee.

“After a two day hearing Councillor Khan was found guilty of all three charges – two of which involved women members.

“We are pleased with the thoroughness of the investigation into Councillor Khan’s behaviour and the outcome of the NCC deliberations. Bullying and intimidation has no place in the Labour Party.”

NOTE:

Members of the National Constitutional Committee are elected by the Labour Party Annual Conference and are independent arbiters of internal Labour Party disciplinary matters. The decisions made by the NCC are final and not subject to appeal.

 

CORRECTION: this post originally said that the statement was from Newham Labour party. It is, in fact, from the Labour Group of councillors.