Cllr Terry Paul claims to have ‘misread’ a headline about Cllr Rakhia Ismail’s resignation but fails to respond to request to clarify what he had thought it meant
A London councillor and one of the right’s slate of candidates in Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) elections publicly welcomed the news that a Somali-born woman councillor – and formerly the UK’s first Somali-born woman mayor – had resigned from the party over what she described as oppression and discrimination by fellow Labour councillors.
Rakhia Ismail tweeted news of her decision, along with a description of the treatment she feels she has received – and a moving account of how her tenure as Islington mayor had enabled her to ‘escape’ for a time:
Newham councillor Terry Paul responded with a quote tweet of coverage of Ismail’s resignation, describing it as ‘excellent news’ – and was challenged for doing so:
He subsequently deleted his tweet, saying that he had ‘mis read’ the tweet about Ismail’s resignation.
After outraged local Muslims got in touch about the remark, the SKWAWKBOX contacted Cllr Paul for comment on his tweet welcoming Ismail’s resignation and whether it affected his fitness to stand for Labour’s NEC. He responded:
[Ismail’s tweet] was sent to me by a Somali councillor who often sends me positive stories about the Somali community. I naturally retweet her tweets to get a wider audience. Re this tweet it was early and I should have looked closely at this tweet. If I had read the tweet properly I would not have made that comment.
However, when asked to clarify what he thought the post did say for him to declare it ‘excellent news’, he did not respond.
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