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Jeremy Corbyn supporting Redbridge councillor 'going to sue' the Labour Party over deselection

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 November 2017

Cllr Aziz Choudhury who has instructed lawyers over his deselection. Picture: Steve Poston

Cllr Aziz Choudhury who has instructed lawyers over his deselection. Picture: Steve Poston

Archant

A Jeremy Corbyn supporting Redbridge councillor has instructed a lawyer to represent him against the Labour Party, after he was deselected for next year's council elections.

Former mayor Cllr Barbara White, who has also been deselected.Former mayor Cllr Barbara White, who has also been deselected.

Cllr Aziz Choudhury, a ward councillor for seven years representing Valentines and Chadwell, has hired a barrister from Nexus Chambers, which is headed by Michael Mansfield QC.

Mr Mansfield is one of the country’s most prominent lawyers, representing Stephen Lawrence’s family, victims of the Bloody Sunday incident and the family of Mark Duggan.

Cllr Choudhury told the Recorder: “I’m going to sue the Labour Party for breach of contract and breach of its duty of care.

“I have instructed the biggest lawyers in the country to fight my case.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: PA Wire/PA ImagesLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

Cllr Choudhury was deselected from standing in Chadwell in next May’s local elections, despite gaining the most votes of any councillor in the ward, 2,352, in 2014.

Sitting Labour councillors who have served two terms or more have to pass an interview to be reselected.

However Cllr Choudhury claims unproven allegations were used to stop him from standing.

Legal proceedings have not yet been issued, but if they are the case is likely to be heard in the High Court.

“Myself, Cllr Barbara White and Loxford councillors Shakil Ahmad and Mohammad Ahmed have all been deselected,” Cllr Choudhury continued.

“We all signed the Jeremy Corbyn endorsement letter.”

Cllr White, a former Redbridge Mayor and Goodmayes councillor for seven years, is also looking at taking legal action.

She said: “I am a staunch member of the Labour Party and I have no desire to bring the Labour Party into disrepute, however I do think I have been treated very unfairly.”

Cllr White, who suffers from cancer, has been forced to miss some meetings due to her illness, however she said felt able to carry on representing her constituents.

“I’m sure that Redbridge will back me,” she added.

Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said the selection process was “robust and independent of Redbridge Labour”.

He added it was a “procedure which everybody including myself went through”.

Cllr Choudhury’s barrister Andrew Locke said in a statement: “Aziz Choudhury has been a Labour councillor since 2010.

“He always worked hard for his constituents, as a result of which he was reelected in 2014 with an increased majority and and largest majority of the three Labour candidates in his ward.

“He is very disappointed to have been deselected in what he believes were highly unsatisfactory circumstances and is looking forward to resolving this matter with the party, to whom he has always been loyal and for whom he has campaigned for the last 25 years or more.”

A London Labour Party spokeman said: “We don’t comment on internal selection procedures.”

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