THE Labour Leader of Oldham Council, Sean Fielding, has been reported to the police by multiple angry constituents over allegations that he harassed them and attempted to have them sacked by their employers after they spoke out against grooming gangs.
The majority of those who came forward to VoteWatch have been granted anonymity over their fears of reprisals. One lady, a University student, told us: “Sean Fielding has been on a smear and harassment campaign trying to get people sacked from their jobs or thrown out of university. I know because I have been on the receiving end of his lies. More victims of the same coming forward.
“Others who have been similarly affected include an ex-police officer who now works in rehabilitation services for ex offenders (he is also standing against Sean Fielding in the next local council election). He and his daughter were also targeted, with Sean Fielding telephoning the school where she works, maliciously alleging that she was a danger to children, which was outrageous and completely unfounded. Another victim is a senior tax inspector. We were all targeted in a similar way with false allegations being made against us by emails or telephone calls to employers/institutions. In my case I’m not employed, but am a PhD student with a scholarship. If I had been made to leave my research I would have experienced financial hardship.”
All those whom VoteWatch spoke to confirmed that they had registered official reports with the police, and others went into further detail, including a local resident who has campaigned against what he alleges to be a cover-up by Oldham Council over its alleged lack of action against grooming gangs, and relayed fears that their victimisation would see the same fate.
“Fielding has influence with Oldham police” he said. “It doesn’t help that he is very friendly with Andy Burnham. There’s some serious dirt with this council – they even tried to hush up a council member called Rod Blyth who was a councillor for many years and was found guilty of producing child porn images and was put on the register for 10 years! The council are claiming that they knew nothing about it, yet another arrogant comeback by Fielding revealed the council implemented safeguarding when they were informed of the investigation.”
“Fielding contacted the employers of at least 5 people who’s only crimes had been either liking posts by Raja Miah [an anti-grooming activist] or commenting on allegations. He wrote saying they were far right activists and racists amongst other things, and even defamed whistleblower cop Pete Jackson and described him as a disgraced ex cop, which he certainly isn’t.”
“Another activist of the local group ‘Oldham Together’ led a peaceful protest against Cllr fielding last week. Police attended and then left her alone, saying she had broken no laws. Yet today, two police officers turned up and it was basically to intimidate her. I truly believe this was on Fielding’s influence again. People are feeling like they have no-one to turn to and that Fielding is teflon.”
One of the complainants – annoyed by what some have described as the police ‘dragging their heels’ over their police reports – has taken matters into his own hands, issuing a letter informing the Council’s solicitor of his intent to take legal action.
A petition has also since been set up by some of his alleged victims. The supporting text reads:
“The Labour Party Leader of Oldham Council SEAN FIELDING has been reported to Greater Manchester Police by multiple victims for harrasment, malicious communication and hate crime. Each of the victims have crime reference numbers and have submitted their evidence to the police.
“Following complaints, Oldham Council has officially distanced itself from their leader attempting to claim that Cllr Fielding acted of his own volition.
“Whilst the victims have been waiting months to simply provide statements, the police have seen fit to visit the home of a local campaigner to warn her for harrasment. Her crime, exercising her right to free speech and protesting against the Council hiding from the residents of the town that one of their Councillors was convicted for child sex offences.
“It is now looking increasingly that in Oldham, politicians are not only above the law, but that they also have the power to direct the police to do their bidding.
“The people of Oldham, and all those from across the country that have witnessed these events with dismay, now call on the Home Secretary to urgently intervene and ensure that the same law applies to politicians as it does everyone else.”
Meanwhile, some have raised personal concerns that their complaints will not be dealt with properly or will be ‘swept under the rug’. These concerns focus mainly around Cllr Fielding’s alleged close relationship with the local Police and Crime Commissioner, but also draws on previous mistrust over those who work with and support him.
One of these concerns is based on Arooj Shah, the Labour Deputy Council Leader for Oldham’s alleged connections with convicted criminals, after the below graphic went viral on social media.
VoteWatch will provide an update on the story when one becomes available.