Five Labour councillors in Tower Hamlets have been expelled after allegations that they campaigned against their own party candidate in a by-election.
The expulsions follow the April by-election when Ala Uddin, the Labour councillor for Spitalfields, lost his seat to Gulam Rabbani, an independent candidate, by less than 50 votes.
Rabbani stood as an independent, nominated by Mayor Luftur Rahman who was himself expelled from Labour in 2010 and now sits as an independent.
The five: Kabir Ahmed, Rofique Ahmed, Shahed Ali, Abdul Asad and Shafiqul Haque have been contacted by Labour to inform them that their membership of the Party has been terminated.
Councillor Joshua Peck Labour, the leader of the Labour party group on Tower Hamlets, told EastLondonLines: “The five councillors were expelled for campaigning against Labour Party candidates in recent elections, although they had already crossed the floor some time ago to sit in the Independent Mayor’s cabinet.
‘’This is a clear breach of Labour Party rules and resulted in automatic expulsion.”
Shahed Ali, who was said to have appeared in Robbani’s campaign leaflets, accused the Party of racism, and claimed he had been out of the country during the campaign, so could not have involved in the by-election.
He told the East London Advertiser: “Obviously I am very disappointed with the decision, but what concerns me even more is the racism and discrimination taking place here.
“The only reason the rules apply differently to me is because of my skin colour, and for a Party which speaks so much of equality to then act like that is really bad. I am sure that’s not the picture Ed Miliband wants to see in his Party.”
By Anja McLoughlin