While it has taken many years of pressure and determined effort, a settlement has been reached with Raghib Ahsan over the discrimination it made over his re-selection as a Birmingham City Councillor. It demonstrates the way New Labour acted against sections of its membership. It became the norm for non-elected officers to interfere with selection procedures and determine who they liked and who they didn’t. In spite of concern, supported by evidence, it was Khalid Mahmood who became MP for Perry Barr in 2001.
The Labour Party showed that it was much more concerned about stopping Raghib Ahsan replacing Jeff Rooker than paying attention to Khalid’s chequered career. Both Raghib and Khalid had been elected to Birmingham City Councillor. While Raghib fought hard for his constituents’ rights, Khalid went away to Kuwait after only months in office leaving his supporters in the lurch. Labour refused to listen when its members complained ending up with the vast majority supporting the Lib Dem candidate, Jon Hunt, now a Birmingham City Councillor, who ran an anti-sleaze campaign. Members of the Labour Party took their campaign to Mill Bank, then New Labour’s HQ.
West Midlands Labour toughed this one out as they did other matters that brought them into disrepute, such as the voting fraud issue of 2004. In spite of the mayhem and damage when the case successfully went to the House of Lords, the officers still remain in charge continuing their nonsense. As I maintained at the time, they should have been sacked.
From: ahsan raghib [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 11 September 2011 12:58
P R E S S R E L E A S E 11 September 2011
Labour Party must pay former Councillor over £122,000.00
Raghib Ahsan, a former Birmingham City Councillor for Sparkhill, has won a six figure sum from the Labour Party following his successful claim of race discrimination.
Raghib Ahsan was a Labour councillor for seven years from 1991 to 1998. During this period the Labour Party created a scandal when it wrongly alleged that Labour members were using housing repair grants to “buy” votes in internal elections. Later reports vindicated Raghib Ahsan and the Sparkhill Labour party and found there had been no wrong doing.
The Labour Party used the supposed scandal as a pretext to suspend four constituency parties in Birmingham and remove the democratic rights of members to select candidates. In 1997 a regional panel of the Labour Party deselected Raghib Ahsan and replaced him with a white candidate. Early in 1998 he brought a case of discrimination under the Race Relations Act.
The case was finally determined in the House of Lords in November 2007. Agreeing the compensation has taken another three years. Raghib Ahsan has been awarded £42,247.00 for personal injury and the parties have now agreed a further sum of £79,992.41 for loss of income.
Raghib Ahsan’s involvement with the Labour Party ended in 2004 when he stood for another party. In 2002 he had been suspended from holding office by the party following a false allegation of intimidation by another member which the Labour Party deliberately failed to investigate. The Police later stated that there was no case against him. The Employment Tribunal found that Raghib Ahsan had been treated “appallingly”.
Raghib Ahsan said today:
“I am pleased that I have finally been vindicated after all these years. The compensation is some recompense for the hurt and injustice I have suffered and the effective ending of my political career.
I have not been given any apology by the Labour Party. The Labour Party is in denial about its own racism and I know firsthand that racist practices continue. Over 50 members of Pakistani origin recently had their membership applications unfairly blocked for over two years. Two would be councillors of Asian origin have recently started legal proceedings over the blocking of their applications. It is time the Labour Party owned up to its failings.”
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For further information contact Raghib Ahsan:
0121 551 1846 (home phone) or 07941284617 (mobile)
Raghib Ahsan is now a practising solicitor. In 2010 he assisted 56 applicants for Labour Party membership to make internal appeals, of which 54 were successful.
Raghib Ahsan was involved in bringing the petition of postal vote fraud in the Bordesley Green ward of Birmingham City Council in 2004. The Election Court found that there had been widespread abuse of the electoral process by the Labour Party. The Court suspended six councillors (one councillor was allowed to stand again following an appeal). The three former Bordesley Green councillors have now been declared bankrupt following their failure to pay legal costs. Raghib Ahsan recently acted in a bankruptcy hearing in this case.