Conservatives call for statement from suspended Labour candidate in Barton & Tredworth
Conservatives have called on Ismail Ali, the suspended Labour candidate in Barton & Tredworth, to issue a statement clarifying his position in advance of next Thursday’s City Council elections. The Party has also slammed Labour for “making no effort” to ensure voters in the ward are aware he is no longer their candidate.
Mr Ali was suspended by the Labour Party after revelations that he was banned from being a Company Director because a restaurant he ran employed illegal immigrants. His suspension came after the date for nominations and withdrawal of candidates had passed, meaning Mr Ali’s name will still be on the ballot paper as the Labour candidate.
The confusion was added to when Labour continued to distribute leaflets in the area describing Mr Ali as “Your local Labour council candidate”.
Conservative City Council Leader Paul James, who is election agent for Tory candidate Sajid Patel, has written to Mr Ali saying, “Whatever has happened between you and the Labour Party is a matter for you and them, but my concern is that people in Barton & Tredworth are not confused or misled at the ballot box. In the best interests of your community in Barton & Tredworth it would be helpful if you were able to issue a personal statement clarifying the position i.e. are you now standing effectively as an independent candidate or are you not wanting people to vote for you at all?”
No response to the letter has been received and the Conservatives have now turned their fire on Labour. Cllr James added, “Labour should take some responsibility here to make sure people know what they are voting for, but instead all we have had is silence – from Mr Ali, from his agent and from Labour’s Parliamentary candidate. They should be putting out a leaflet explaining he is no longer their candidate, but they have made no effort at all. Instead they have still been issuing leaflets with his name on. This is an affront to democracy. I can understand that they will be embarrassed by what has happened, but they should be ashamed that they have done nothing about it.”