Goodmayes ward Labour councillor resigns from party because of ‘intimidation’

The leader of the Redbridge Labour group has called for a “fresh mandate” in Goodmayes following the resignation of ward Cllr Ali Hai from the party.

Cllr Hai officially resigned from the Labour group last night and will now be an independent councillor for his ward.

Citing “pressure” and “intimidation” as key reasons for his departure, Cllr Hai claims to have been prevented from representing the views of his residents.

He said: “On a personal level the group put me under a lot of pressure and intimidation which put me under a lot of stress and my family too.

“There were lots of differences of opinion and it was time to make a clean break.

“My own personal view is that I will now be able to address residents views without being restricted and as a resident myself I would be pleased with that.

“In my view a party that shows no compassion and fairness towards its own members is being wholly disingenuous in portraying itself as standing for these values with the public.”

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His resignation from the party has been described as “no real loss” by Labour group leader Cllr Jas Atwal.

He said: “Obviously we are very disappointed that he has resigned the position.

“The residents of Goodmayes picked three Labour councillors and I’m hoping he will do the decent thing and get a fresh mandate from residents on whether they want an independent representing them.”

Council leader Cllr Keith Prince seconded the call for a fresh mandate adding: “He hasn’t resigned as a councillor, so all that will happen is will have to come off some committees, but he will go on to others.

“Councillors are elected in the main because they stand for a party and tend to vote for a party effectively. So my view is that if you change the colour of your banner then give the electorate the chance to re-elect you or possibly not.”

In August last year Cllr Hai was suspended from the group for six months after 15 breaches of the party’s code of conduct, including failing to toe the line on the lease of Goodmayes Park Extension to local football club Singh Sabha.

It is unclear whether Cllr Ali will now look to join the Conservative party, though Cllr Prince believes that is a decision best made after careful consideration.

He added: “I think that if he has changed his views then we would have to have a discussion.

“But it’s a big leap. Have things changed so dramatically that he no longer stands for those values?”