Tag Archives: Slough Labour

ANOTHER Labour Cllr Quits Over Bullying – Party Continues To Ignore Bullying And Racism Complaints From Victimised Members Across UK

THE Labour Party is seeing a wave of activists and Councillors quit across the country, all reporting that their complaints of serious bullying from party officials and fellow colleagues are being ignored.

Yesterday, Cllr Mandy Clare, who represents Winsford Dene, Cheshire, resigned from the party, claiming she had been bullied and prevented from speaking out about women’s rights and from raising concerns about ‘serial abuse’.

Mandy Clare - Labour Heartlands
Cllr Clare has resigned after her bullying complaint, like so many others across the country, was ignored by the party

Earlier this week, several Labour Councillors sitting on Newham Council also quit, citing the party’s failure to investigate serious allegations of bullying registered by 18 fellow Councillors against sitting Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz.

Cllr Pat Murphy, a long-serving councillor from Newham, said he had quit the Labour group because the party had not investigated the allegations, and that the Labour refused to accept requests to intervene or even provide comment on the matter.

“There has been nothing other than silence from the party,” Cllr Murphy added.

The serious allegations and resignations aren’t isolated to Newham and Cheshire, but are in fact just two examples from what has become a covered-up case of apparently institutionalised bullying and harassment in Labour branches across the nation.

From Blackburn to Peterborough, Scotland to Wales, Councillors are speaking out about intimidation and victimisation from their fellow colleagues, and how the national party and regional officers are ignoring their complaints or attempting to silence them.

I would still encourage Black people to go into politics' says Manchester  councillor who resigned | ManchesterWorld
Cllr Hutchinson resigned after accusing Labour of bullying and racism

In December of last year, several more Councillors raised concerns in various parts of the UK – only for their complaints to be completely ignored, and to find themselves bullied further, often to the point of being forced to quit.

Marcia Hutchinson, a Labour Councillor who was elected in Ancoats and Beswick, Manchester, resigned, alleging a toxic culture of racism and bullying.

Before her, Saima Afzal, a well-respected Councillor from Blackburn, also spoke out about being a victim of sexism and bullying by Labour colleagues, and of her frustrating battle to get Labour to take her complaints seriously.

Further Councillors quit for the same reasons late last year, from Croydon, Slough, and many other constituencies.

Former Blackburn councillor claims Labour did not act on bullying - BBC News
Cllr Afzal resigned after her complaints of bullying were constantly ignored

“They made my life hell!” said Birmingham Labour Councillor Zhor Malik, who had been a Labour activist since 1973 until resigning from the party last week and joining the Tories after accusing his former colleagues of bullying him and ‘acting like a dictatorship’.

Yet, when asked for comment on each individual case, the Labour Party offer up the same hollow quote to the press before sweeping the growing issue under the rug: “The Labour Party takes all allegations seriously”.

GMB Finds More “Institutional Bullying and Discrimination” in Newham  Council — OPEN Newham

Yet, as with their promise to take antisemitism seriously (only to recently readmit a long list of antisemites back into its fold), alleged bullies in the party continue to go unpunished, complaints are not investigated, and victims are further victimised.

Shockingly, the Labour Party is even failing to investigate serious complaints of racism, with Labour MPs Dawn Butler and Diane Abbott signing a letter demanding that Keir Starmer look into the THOUSANDS of racism complaints submitted by members against other party members – all of which were being ignored, and to date have still not been addressed.

LABOUR Deputy Mayor Suspended In Slough

THE Deputy Mayor of Slough, Councillor Haqeeq Dar, has been suspended from the Labour Party.

Haqeeq Dar, Councillor for Wexham Lea and deputy mayor of Slough, has been suspended by Labour while a full investigation is carried out into ‘serious allegations’, with VoteWatch being informed that talk among local councillors is that Dar has been accused of sexual harassment.

VoteWatch received confirmation of the Deputy Mayor’s suspension earlier this month, but was unable to publish it for legal reasons.

Cllr Haqeeq A Dar (@HaqeeqDar) | Twitter
Deputy Mayor Haqeeq Dar (right) has been suspended from the Labour Party

During the same period, Neil Wilcox, Executive Director of Corporate Operations for the Council resigned after the council’s audit report was published. The below is his resignation email, also sent to VoteWatch earlier this month.

Councillor Haqeeq Dar became deputy mayor for the town last year and was also the chairman of the planning committee.

A spokesman for Labour said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

Cllr Wayne Strutton, Leader of the Conservative Group for Slough, said: “I was not shocked to learn that the Deputy Mayor has been suspended, pending investigation from the Labour Party. I am shocked however at how long it has taken Slough Labour to address the situation.”

Wayne Strutton (@LiberateSlough) | Twitter
Conservative Cllr Wayne Strutton says the suspension ‘raises wider questions’

“What is most concerning is the fact that this suspension may have come into effect prior to Tuesday’s Council meeting where Cllr Dar was commended with a vote of thanks by the Labour Group.

“It raises wider questions as to when allegations resulting in Cllr Dar’s suspension came to light; and why Labour not only did not inform the public of this issue, but failed to withdraw Cllr Dar as Deputy Mayor.

“These revelations, accompanied by Labour’s refusal to accept zero-tolerance to bullying, make me question how I, or any other Slough resident, could have any faith in the transparency, decency or leadership of Slough Labour.”

WATCH: Labour Councillors Bully Woman For Leaving Party During Filmed Meeting

DURING a council meeting in Slough, Labour councillors were filmed swearing at and bullying a female councillor – simply for not voting how they wanted her to, and for announcing that she was leaving their crumbling party.

Slough’s council, which is run by a local Labour branch mired in allegations of corruption and vote-rigging, sought to increase council tax – despite recently giving themselves a healthy pay rise.

In understandable objection to the move, Councillor Madhuri Bedi refused to vote in favour of the motion and announced her resignation to her colleagues attending the full council meeting via Zoom.

Bedi said that she was ‘saddened’ by the decision for the council to increase tax – just one of many Labour-run councils across the country to decide to do so in recent months – and highlighted that local residents were already experiencing financial hardship.

“There is no doubt the past year has been incredibly challenging” she said. “Covid-19 and lockdown has caused councils all over England to lose millions in revenue that is relied on to run services.

Councillor Bedi was attacked for resigning from Labour

“Our Slough community in common with others has been severely impacted. In a year that has brought a Tsunami of grief, mental health concerns, high unemployment, increase in domestic abuse and huge financial burdens, residents would have welcomed a freeze or smaller increase to council tax.

“Had we chosen to do this it would’ve shown that we care, understand we are there at a time of great need.”

The councillor also accused the council of financial mismanagement, saying that it the local Labour officials had ‘squandered’ money on its £39 million town centre headquarters, and said that all decisions over finance and assets were being made by one person, Council Leader James Swindlehurst.

Slough council leader defends himself over trip to Cannes | Slough Observer
Council Leader James Swindlehurst has been accused of bullying

Bedi was immediately set upon from the start of her contribution to the meeting, with one Labour councillor becoming abusive and swearing at her for not voting for the tax rise to pass – an aggressive incident that was not addressed by Labour officials overseeing the meeting.

In an offensive moment of bullying, and an attempt to humiliate the hardworking local councillor, Swindlehurst then announced to the group that “All people who choose to leave us, the same fate befalls them all – you never hear from them ever again because the public don’t put their faith in traitors and quitters and splitters.”

Shockingly, neither the abusive language nor attacks on Bedi’s character have yet been addressed, and do not look likely to be.

Speaking to VoteWatch, Mherunisa Hussain, popular Chairman of the Slough Conservative Association, slammed the vile behaviour.

“As a young female in politics, I was very saddened to see a fellow woman being bullied” she said. “The behaviour towards Cllr Bedi was absolutely unacceptable.

Local Tory Chairman Mherunisa Hussain has condemned the incident

“This is not what I expect to see, especially on International Women’s Day. Nonetheless, Cllr Bedi handled the appalling reaction from the Slough Labour leader and his deputy, with dignity and class.

“I am very proud to say our Group Leader Cllr Strutton called out the bullying directed at Cllr Bedi, words like ‘traitors’ and ‘quitters’ are completely unacceptable, regardless of one’s political beliefs. We do not condone any form of bullying and will continue to stand against this behaviour in Slough.”