THE leader of Redbridge Council has been suspended from the Labour Party following serious allegations.
Jas Athwal, who was taking part in the race to be prospective parliamentary candidate in Ilford South, was suspended on Friday (4) over allegations that were first made against him in August.
The move has sparked controversy, and Athwal said he had provided evidence that the allegations against him were untrue.
Athwal tweeted: “This is not a fair process. It is contrary to natural justice. All I seek is a fair hearing and due process.”
— Jas Athwal (@Jas_Athwal) October 5, 2019
Wes Streeting, the Labour MP for Ilford North, took to Twitter to say that the suspension of Athwal just 15 hours before the vote was “politically motivated and biased in order to stitch up the selection”.
He wrote: “The Labour Party must suspend the selection process in Ilford South immediately. Proceeding under these circumstances will only confirm for many our suspicion that the suspension of the local frontrunner, Cllr Jas Athwal, just 15 hours before the vote is politically motivated and biased in order to stitch up the selection.
“While it is right for the Labour Party to take all complaints seriously, the selection process must be suspended until this matter is fully investigated and resolved so that every candidate is given a fair chance and every member of Ilford South Labour Party is given a real choice.”
Athwal is up against Sam Tarry for a chance to stand for the party in Ilford South at the next general election.
A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints extremely seriously, which are investigated and any appropriate disciplinary action taken in line with the party’s rules and procedures.
“We can’t comment on individual cases.”
Athwal’s case has been referred to the National Constitutional Committee.