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EXCLUSIVE: Labour farce: You couldn’t make it up

Labour selection problems

The Labour Party is allowing itself to fall into utter disrepute in regards to the selection process for the Tower Hamlets elected Mayoral race.

We initially covered the story that it had been suggested that number of key people including the former leader of the council Mr L Rahman, had been kept off the list of candidates in order to give an easier ride to GLA member John Biggs. The fact that GLA Labour group leader Len Duval was on the decision making panel further muddied the water.

But after much pressure the Labour Party reopened the process to ensure fairness. Labour democrats particularly from the BME communities rejoiced. Labour’s Black sections – Labour BAME – proclaimed the party was listening to its BME members.

Not for long it seems. The events that followed next not only seem undemocratic and against the spirit and wishes of Labour BME members, but at another level are deeply troubling and farcical.

This letter was sent to Mr Rahman on the 23rd of July confirming a reversal to the decision to keep him off the shortlist:

Dear Mr Rahman

Tower Hamlets Mayoral selection

You appealed against your exclusion from the shortlist as Labour candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

The appeal has been heard on Friday at Labour Party headquarters


Your appeal is allowed and your name will be added to the short list.

This decision is final.

Yours sincerely

Roy Kennedy

Director of Finance and compliance

Mr Rahman was obviously delighted by this ‘final decision’ making the shortlist list, only to receive second letter three days letter revoking the first ‘final decision’:

26 July 2010

Dear Mr Rahman

Tower Hamlets Mayoral Selection

I regret that the decision letter sent to you by Roy Kennedy on my behalf last Friday was sent in error; I had not then concluded my deliberations on your appeal.

Having now done so, I am satisfied that there was a procedure laid down both for nominees and for the interviewing panel which had been approved by the General Secretary. I therefore do not accept your submission that I should deal with procedural matters in the context of Chapters 5 and 20 of the Party Rules as stated in ground 1 of your appeal.

Ground 2 of your appeal amounted to no more than criticism of the political judgment of the interview panel, not something within my remit.

In the light of this, as I heard no evidence to suggest that the procedure in fact laid down was not followed or that there were manifest errors relating to it my decision is as follows.


Your appeal is NOT ALLOWED.

This decision is final.

Yours sincerely

Jim Kennedy

According to OBV sources, Mr Kennedy, that’s the first one Roy Kennedy, refused to sign the second letter.

So where do Rahman and the other ‘excluded’ candidates stand, well unless the Labour leadership steps in quick, probably in the courts.

One member of Labour BAME who wished to remain anonymous for fear that it would be held against them lamented;

“What must Black people do to be treated fairly by this party?”

Good question!

4 Responses

  1. ““What must Black people do to be treated fairly by this party?””


    But the shortlist contains two Bengalis (Shiria Khatun and Sirajul Islam) and one White person (Biggs)

    So what’s the complaint?

    Isn’t the problem that Rahman is strongly linked to the IFE/Jamaat e Islami. Many Bengalis object to Jamaat e Islami, because of their role in killing “Black people” during the Bangladeshi War of Liberation.

  2. Apologies- Sirajul Islam has been dropped, and two Bengalis – Rosna and Abbas – have been added.

    So there are three Bengalis on the shortlist.

  3. “One member of Labour BAME who wished to remain anonymous for fear that it would be held against them lamented;

    “What must Black people do to be treated fairly by this party?”

    I am very concerned about this party and its refusal to step in line with the RRA 1976. It does not come as a surprise to me that they did all the could – including abusing their positions – to get the Race Relations Act 1976 scrapped.

    Despite all their dis honnesty, it did not win them the last election. Please, take time to read a letter I sent to Sir Phillip Mawer – Independent Advisor on Ministerial Standards.

    Sir Phillip Mawer,
    Independent Advisor on Ministerial Standards,
    Prime Minister Office,
    No. 10 Downing Street,
    SW1A 2AA.

    Dear Sir Phillip,

    I am writing to express my concerns at political parties coming into office and abusing the powers given to them.

    One political party which was notably guilty of this was the last Labour Government which, thankfully, was voted out of office on 5 May 2010. New Labour, amongst its many sins, furtively promoted racism in order to use the majority vote to keep them in office.

    The legacy they have left behind is the near feral behaviour especially within the employment industry. Lack of accountability by people in authority means employers can dismiss an employee – mostly nonwhites – with impunity. Since 2004 when New Labour changed the employment law, the Employment Tribunals Service has become detached from the members of the public they are meant to serve. Issues concerning nonwhites are just allowed to sail through without an employment tribunal dealing with them properly. This is illegal behaviour by those in authority.

    In conclusion to all the wrongs that the last Labour Government did, the former Prime Minister’s refusal to clear his name of the bullying allegation at No 10 Downing Street before running for the last elections was clearly the last straw in the abuse of power in position of authority. The contrivers of some of these problems mentioned from the last Labour Government are on the verge of selling their memoirs and lining their pockets for their failures in their duties to the public. This is clearly unacceptable.

    Putting the past to one side, I am more concerned about the future and how all the wrongs of the past can be put right. I am hoping your office can make a lot of positive changes from now into the future. The leader and those in government office should behave with more integrity, and should set the right example for all to follow.

    Furthermore, the candidates for the leadership (Prime Minister and other Senior Ministerial positions) should not see their prospective positions as an opportunity to abuse it, should be racial aware of the present diverse racial set up of the country, should have a proven record as being interested in the interest of the nation and its citizens, should make equal opportunities at all levels a top priority, and should have the ability to do the job.

    Lastly, the United Kingdom is a multi racial country now. The future of all governments formed should be reflective of that, and, all future governments respecting it. The last Labour Government caused a lot of harm to peoples’ lives; especially minority ethnic citizens.

    I hope you note the points rose in my letter, and that they will be acted on together with other concerns raised by other law abiding citizens.

    Kind regards,

    Yinka Oyesanya.

    This matter should be taken to the Equality and Human Rights Commission and dealt with transparently.

  4. List closed, seen to favour only white candidate. List reopened. Popular BME candidate admitted. Popular BME candidate, now not admitted. Another BME candidate ‘dropped’.

    With the best will in the world, it’s difficult to have confidence in a process that goes from bad to worse.

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