Five Respect councillors resign

Five Respect councillors in Bradford have resigned from the party after a row over MP George Galloway running for Mayor of London

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Bradford Spring or Winter of discontent for Respect?

George Galloway hailed his victory in a by election last year as the Bradford Spring. But could it be turning into a winter of discontent for the MP?

Five Bradford city councillors who were members of his Respect Party have resigned from the organisation in a dispute with party officials.

It comes after two of them were suspended in August for criticising Mr Galloway's interest in running for London Mayor.

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Respect: Councillors tried to control party

The Respect party say the five Bradford councillors who resigned from the party had been trying to control the party:

It is entirely in character that the five councillors who have resigned from Respect in Bradford did so under cover of darkness, putting out their rambling statement in the middle of the night. Two of them 'resigned' having been expelled by the party, a logical impossibility...

...Two of the five councillors, Ishtiaq Ahmed and Mohammed Shabir, repeatedly briefed against the Respect party and George Galloway, including to members of the press. They were suspended from the party some two months ago, and were expelled yesterday...

...This is not about principal, or policy, but self-interest and a naked attempt by the five councillors and one ally to control the party in Bradford. They proposed a constitution which would have given them absolute power in the party in the city. It came to a head when they proposed installing their ally in what they considered to be a safe seat at the forthcoming May election. These machinations were rejected by the national party. Since then they have continued to act against Respect.

The five, some of whom have chequered political histories, were elected on the coattails of George Galloway's historic win in Bradford West. Does anyone seriously doubt that? Their visibility and impact in the council chamber has been virtually non-existent. If they had a shred of principle they would now resign their council seats and stand again in their new colours. Or will they instead continue to draw thousands of pounds of public money until they are removed by the voters?

– Respect

Councillors: "No choice" over resignation

Five Bradford Respect councillors who have resigned over comments made by MP George Galloway about the London Mayorship in 2016 have released a statement about their resignation:

...discussions have failed to find common ground as senior Respect officials have shown a disregard to address our legitimate grievances and we have been unable to resolve our issues of difference. After much deliberation this has left our group no choice but to fully resign from the Respect party with immediate effect...This decision has not been made lightly and we are saddened that certain ‘gatekeepers’ involved in Bradford Respect appear to have no interest in transparency, accountability and equity...

...I want to assert that as a group we entered into local politics with a view to stand up for Bradfordians and therefore we believe we have acted in the best interest of Bradford. Needless to say we will remain committed to the electorate and will continue to advocate for the citizens of Bradford and work hard for the interests of our constituents and we will continue to represent them in Council on the issues that affect them in the district.

– Councillor Alyas Karmani

Five Respect councillors resign

Five of the respect party councillors in Bradford have resigned from the party over a row about George Galloway MP running for Lord Mayor of London.

Alyas Karmani, Ruqaya Collector, Faisal Khan, Ishtiaq Ahmed and Mohammed Shabbir say they have been left with no choice but to resign from the party.

Ahmed and Shabbir were suspended from the party in August after expressing concerns about Galloway's comments that he would consider running for London Mayor in 2016.

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