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?
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