FROM CLLR. ANWAR KHAN, BOW WEST WARD, TOWER HAMLETS
27 February 2014 – for immediate release
Tower Hamlets Labour party rocked after latest infighting during Council budget meeting
Councillor Anwar Khan speaks out against “diseased political culture” in Tower Hamlets Labour party.
At the budget meeting last night (26 February) Labour councillor Anwar Khan delivered a damning verdict on the “amateurish” and “embarrassing” alternative budget proposed by his fellow Labour Councillors as well as hitting out at the culture of intimidation and harassment rife in the party.
Khan, a City professional born and brought up in Tower Hamlets, said that he returned from a business trip to find that mayoral candidate John Biggs had imposed a thinly disguised election buy-off as the party’s budget strategy for the 2014/15 financial year. Labour’s majority on the Council means the party can block the budget proposals of Directly Elected Mayor Lutfur Rahman and force a second meeting.
Cllr Anwar Khan said:
“The power of blocking a budget is there to prevent serious mismanagement, not to play politics with less than 0.05 per cent of our £1.2bn budget.”
“Last year we were whipped to pull big sums out of services and into reserves but now that John Biggs needs electing it seems there’s cash to spend. And the proposals were laughable. Free school meals funded for two school terms – with funding falling short by over £1m or delaying the relocation of the town hall to Whitechapel when Mulberry Place costs £6m a year rent. I represent some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the UK during a time of recession and cuts, I couldn’t vote for such terrible policies.”
Cllr Khan’s attempt to speak out was rudely interrupted when former Labour Leader Cllr. Joshua Peck forcibly disconnected Cllr Khan’s microphone in full view of the residents, members and officers present. A public example, Cllr. Khan said, of an established culture of bulling and abusive behaviour amongst Labour councillors.
Cllr Khan said:
“I tried to speak on behalf of my constituents and I was forcefully silenced. If the former Leader of the Labour Group thinks he can behave like that in the Council Chamber, imagine what goes on behind closed doors. There’s a diseased culture in Tower Hamlets Labour Party, bullying and intimidation are rife and any Bangladeshi who doesn’t know their place is reminded quickly and ruthlessly.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. Cllr. Anwar Khan’s CV:
Councillor Anwar Khan was elected in 2010 in the ward of Bow West, winning a conservative seat from Anwara Ali, a local GP. He has lived in Tower Hamlets all his life, went to Osmani Primary School, Swanlea School. He studied in Newham Sixth Form and later achieved his undergraduate degree in Cass Business School, and has a Masters in Global Politics. Anwar lives in Spitalfields with his family, and works in the financial services industry in the City of London. He has served in Shadow Cabinet in all years, including holding the role of Shadow Cabinet Member for Resources and is currently the Shadow Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Employment. Anwar was the Chief Whip for the first 3 years, one of the longest serving Chief Whips to date. During his term he has also served as the Chairman of the Pensions Committee.
Issued by Councillor Anwar Khan, Bow West
For queries Cllr. Khan can be contacted on 07903 016 965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org