Redbridge councillor cleared after illegal migrant probe

A COUNCILLOR who was suspended while under investigation by immigration officials has been cleared.

Cllr Muhammed Javed was the subject of an allegation over a letter in which he apparently deliberately gave false information to help a non-UK citizen into the country.

Redbridge Council’s monitoring officer had been asked to probe the allegations, based on a letter apparently written by the councillor on July 30, 2009.

But after immigration officials at the UK Border Agency looked into the case, they decided Cllr Javed did not have a case to answer.

Since being reinstated in his full capacity as a councillor on Thursday after being suspended since late November, Cllr Javed has spoken out against Labour party headquarters “officials” who he says failed to back him when news of the investigation broke.

“They made a hasty decision to suspend me, and didn’t contact me while the investigation was underway,” he said.

“I have been a public servant for 30 years and have not done anything wrong.” Cllr Javed added he was not told about the monitoring officer’s decision to suspend him until the action had been taken.

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Leader of the Labour group, Cllr Bob Littlewood, said he was not happy about suspending the Clementswood ward councillor. He said: “The complaint was made by the UK Border Agency – a powerful organisation, following a reference made in a court case to a letter Cllr Javed had written to a constituent.

“I was not pleased about having to put in the suspension, but knew he would come out of the investigation fine.” Cllr Javed added he was angry about the negative publicity he received as a result of the probe, and considering lodging a complaint against the UK Border Agency. “It has been hell, people who did not know the full story will have questions when in fact I am completely innocent.

“I will be speaking to the Labour party about the hasty handling of my suspension. They should have consulted me first instead of suspending me, I would have been able to prove my innocence.”

Despite efforts made by the Recorder, no one from the Labour party was able to comment on the issue.