S4
Sunday, 24 September 2017
SBC
24 November 2010

Labour's Sleaze Enquiry Hushed-up

Slough Tories Idly Indifferent


Twelve years ago Slough newspapers published story after story of sleaze, membership abuse and corruption. The BBC's outside broadcasting unit drove to Slough every day to present the latest news on the grave crisis affecting Slough Council, the local Labour Party and the Labour councillors whose behaviour was questionable and worrying to many.

Some will remember the singing of mock Christmas carols at the December 1998 council meeting by angry Labour Party members deeply unhappy with the alleged whitewashing of the sensational Slough sleaze investigation by Labour's own Task Force.

Twelve years later as Christmas approaches protests are surfacing about the latest Labour Party sleaze enquiry being hushed-up.

The secret investigation, by Labour's south-east England regional office, followed the last minute abandonment of the selection meeting to chose Labour's Chalvey ward candidate for the May 2011 election. Delegates arriving at the Church Street HQ found a notice pinned on the door declaring the meeting cancelled until further notice.

Allegations made by one candidate was he was "too honest" and that is why some wanted him out. Another candidate complained of bullying and harassment. Another complaint was Labour had members on the electoral roll who did not exist at their registered address.

In the greater public interest and mindful of the sleaze that has enveloped Slough Labour damaging their credibility and reputation for many years, it is time to expose the latest hanky-panky.

In the last few weeks Labour has secretly sacked long-standing Chalvey & Cippenham branch chairman Iftakhar Ahmed for membership "irregularities". A Labour Party insider claims Mr Ahmed, who lives with his family on the Wexham border with South Bucks, broke Labour rules by not being on the electoral role for many years and not genuinely living in Chalvey.

Readers will remember Mr Ahmed's planning application for sub-standard flats in Chapel Street, too small and with inadequate daylight, was approved a few months ago by Labour councillors James Swindlehurst, Raja Zarait, Mohammed Rasib and May Dodds - all of whom failed to declare they were in the same branch as Mr Ahmed and dependent to some extent on Mr Ahmed's support to be chosen as election candidates. Another Labour councillor Joginder Bal also voted in favour but never declared any interest not even stating he knew Mr Ahmed.

What are Slough's idle and rich Tories doing apart from their vigorous in-fighting which saw the expulsion this week of Balwinder Dhillon from their rapidly dwindling council group? Obviously tackling Labour is not one of their chosen priorities. No wonder Labour does whatever it likes whenever it likes in Slough.

Bal Singh
Campaign to Clean-up Slough.