Back we go to Ealing Southall and the case of the defection that wasn’t, and a frankly startling allegation…
LABOUR COUNCILLOR ZAHIDA A-NOORI, today wrote to Labour’s Regional Director Ken Clark to emphasise that the Tory stories concerning her were false.
Cllr A-Noori’s letter reads:
Dear Mr Clark
Re: False Allegations of resignation
Once again, I am compelled to write to you about false allegations being made about my membership of the Labour Party. Yesterday, in an agreed statement, I said that I joined the Labour Party to serve my community. This remains the case today and will remain the case in the future.
To be absolutely and categorically clear: I have no intention of resigning my membership of the Labour Party. I will not be joining the Conservative Party.
As you know, I was a council colleague of Councillor Gurcharan Singh. A number of members who supported Gurcharan signed blank pieces of paper in advance of the shortlisting interview last week.
I was assured that this would be for a write-in campaign should Gurcharan fail in his interview.
At no point did I give permission for the blank paper to be used as a resignation note. Any suggestion that is the case is a completely false and outrageous misuse of my signature and I am deeply distressed that this has happened.
I hope that this now closes the matter. We have a by-election to win and that’s what I want to focus on.
Cllr Zahida Abbas Noori
If you’ll recall, Iain Dale has made a couple of quite specific statements of ‘fact’…
1. Last night Cllr Noori did indeed agree with her five councillor colleagues that she would be joining them.
2. A statement was agreed with her, which I have, but I won’t post unless she’d like me to.
In addition to providing this quote from Tory HQ…
“Cllr Noori did agree twice on Monday night to leave the Labour Party to join the Conservatives in order to support Tony Lit’s energetic and dynamic campaign. It appears that the Labour party has now bullied her into changing her mind. However this is exactly the kind of strongarm Labour tactics which has driven five of their other Councillors away from the divided Labour party.”
I wonder, will Dale now stick to his guns, in which case he and Tory Central must be asserting that Cllr Noori was spoken to, in person and face to face – about her alleged plan to defect to the Tories, or will this latest statement from her now prompt a retraction and apology?
And if one accepts Cllr Noori’s account, what does that then say about the conduct of the Tory’s much heralded new acquisition, Cllr Gurcharan Singh?