The Labour leader of Oldham council, who is also a close political ally of Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner, proudly celebrated her win in this month’s local elections by posing for a photograph with a career criminal jailed for helping killer Dale Cregan in the murder of two policewoman.
Arooj Shah, the newly elected Labour leader of Oldham Council, was pictured celebrating her win with Cregan’s getaway driver Mohammed Imran Ali.
Ali, 42, was jailed for seven years in 2013 for driving Cregan to a safe house after he killed gangland rivals. Whilst on the run due to the help of Ali – something which Shah is fully aware of – Cregan lured PC Fiona Bone, 32, and PC Nicola Hughes, 23, to a home in Tameside with a bogus 999 call before murdering them in a horrific gun and grenade attack.
Tragically, after the murders, one of the police officers’ colleagues committed suicide.
Andrew Summerscales, 46, is believed to have been one of the first on the scene after Cregan killed his “very good friends” PC Nicola Hughes, 23, and PC Fiona Bone, 32, on 18 September 2012.
His 21-year-old son, Joshua, told an inquest that his father’s life “changed that day” and he sank into depression and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The former officer – who had also been at Hillsborough on the day of the disaster – went back to work after receiving treatment for depression, but eventually left the police force in November 2015 after 15 years’ service, Stockport coroners’ court heard.
He suffered a relapse in his mental health, the court was told, and in the early hours of 30 August last year he sent emails and text messages to friends and colleagues telling them he intended to take his own life.
Summerscales had filled out his own death report on official police paperwork, tucked in his pocket, when he was found dead in Cheetham Park, Stalybridge, the inquest heard.
After the terrifying crimes, Ali appeared alongside Cregan in the dock and was jailed for seven years for assisting an offender, before being freed in 2016 but recalled to prison in 2018 after breaching the terms of his early release licence.
At his trial, Ali admitted serving sentences behind bars totalling 16 years, starting with three months for assault at 15. Sentences followed for trafficking drugs including heroin and cocaine. He was also convicted of assault after hitting a 59-year-old man with a two-foot plank outside a pub.
Known locally as ‘Irish Imy’, Ali, Shah’s degenerate pal is a childhood friend of Ms Shah’s whom Shah proudly chooses to help campaign for her each year at the local elections.
In the below photograph, Ali can be seen in the centre behind Shah, his fist raised as he stands beside his fellow Labour team members. A further image shows Ali and Ms Shah later celebrating her May 5th win at a bar in Oldham
Taking to Facebook shortly after the election, Ali wrote: ‘Nice to have the real leader of Oldham Council back. Oldham stood up and got behind the best person for the job!’
Shockingly, just hours before his appearance in the count room – an area that is invitation only – Ali pleaded guilty at Manchester Magistrates’ Court to breaching a restraining order and was given a 12-month community sentence, with the order banning him from approaching a local political activist.
Reacting to Shah’s continued friendship and political alliance with the convicted murder accomplice, Tory councillor Lewis Quigg called it a “disgrace”, saying: “You would think from listening to Sir Keir Starmer that the Labour Party is a paragon of virtue, yet in Oldham he has a council leader who is hanging around with a convicted criminal. Irish Imy assisted one of the country’s most notorious criminals, Dale Cregan, who murdered two police officers.
“It’s mind boggling that this person appears to have had any role in Arooj Shah’s campaign.
“Angela Rayner and Jim McMahon should explain exactly what they know about this individual’s role with the Labour Party in Oldham and why the council leader continues to associate with him.”
However, Rayner doesn’t appear too bothered about the company she keeps. During the 2019 general election, and in elections before then, the Labour frontbencher and Deputy Leader happily went out campaigning alongside convicted vote-rigger Tariq Mahmood in the city of Peterborough.