Petition Calls for Washwood Heath Result Change
A defeated councillor has announced that he will be taking legal action against a Birmingham city councillor amid claims the election was “illegally won.”
According to Liberal Democrat Shamsur Rehman, Labour’s Ansar Ali Khan only won his seat due to the backing of mosque leaders and Pakistani politicians.
Mr Rehman has now submitted an election petition challenging the result in Birmingham’s Washwood Heath ward. Mr Rehman also believes that the success of the case against former Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman who was stripped of his position after it came to light he had been elected as a result of “unique spiritual influence.”
Ansar Ali Khan went on to win the election with an over-whelming majority of 7,805 – giving him 78% of the vote. His party have dismissed legal action saying they are “a series of unsubstansiated allegations” and will “vigorously defend legal action.”
Mr Rehman now wants the result declared null, claiming undue spiritual influence and saying devout Muslims were made to feel it was their religious duty to vote Labour.
Among further allegations is one that undue foreign influence was brought to bear when former prime minister of Azad Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mahmood, spoke at an election rally for Councillor Khan.
The petition also said: “It is alleged the respondent channels public money and projects to his existing supporters or predominantly the Kashmiri Muslim community to the exclusion of other communities in Washwood Heath.”
Mr Rehman, said, “I have launched this campaign to clean up local politics in Birmingham from spiritual, foreign or biraderi (Kashmiri clan) influence.
“The people of Washwood Heath deserve better even if they don’t know it yet.”
“This is a matter of public importance, my purpose is to clean up politics in this city.”
A spokesman for the West Midlands Labour Party said: “This election petition is a series of unsubstantiated allegations which will be vigorously contested. Coun Ansar Ali Khan is a longstanding and popular local Councillor.
“In the election in May he won 9200 vote, a majority of 7805 over his nearest rival. Coun Khan will continue to actively work for all the electors of Washwood Heath.”
Mr Rahman was also accused of bribing his own Bangladeshi community.