Deputy council leader canvassing by text – and emailing support for suspended boss
As the SKWAWKBOX reported last week, Redbridge Council leader and would-be Ilford South parliamentary candidate Jas Athwal has been suspended from the party – and the selection contest – after an anonymised report on complaints of sexual harassment was judged serious enough to require judgment by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC), the party’s top disciplinary body.
Athwal has been supported by a number of Labour councillors, who wish to keep him as council leader in spite of his suspension – and by local MP Wes Streeting, in spite of Athwal’s attempt to claim that his suspension related to another matter entirely.
The selection process was suspended to allow further candidates to apply.
Now Athwal’s deputy council leader Kam Rai has entered the contest – though the SKWAWKBOX understand he has not even been confirmed by the party as a candidate – by texting local members announcing his candidacy and asking their support:
The campaign is still suspended.
Tarry, incidentally, lives on the other side of a road that forms the constituency boundary – Rai lives in Ilford North, Streeting’s constituency.
Rai has also emailed local members supporting the suspended Athwal:
Far more damningly, he has referred on social media to Athwal’s alleged victim(s) as ‘cranks’:
The SKWAWKBOX understands that there have been multiple complaints from outraged locals both about his abusive comment and his campaigning while the contest is suspended.
When the SKWAWKBOX tried to speak to Mr Rai about these issues, he refused to comment and hung up.
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