Birmingham Ladywood Lib Dem PPC loses judicial review

by Stephen Tall on July 27, 2009

The Birmingham Mail has the story:

… a city councillor [has] failed to overturn a judge’s ruling that he “scurrilously” tried to smear a Labour opponent when giving evidence in an election court.

Coun Ayoub Khan, who is his party’s prospective candidate for Ladywood at the next general election, hoped to clear his name after Elections Commissioner Timothy Straker QC found he had made up a “sordid” story in an attempt to falsely accuse Aston Labour councillor Muhammed Afzal of witness nobbling.

Mr Straker, in an election trial in Birmingham last year, also found that Coun Khan, who is a barrister, made up an “unpleasant and unsubstantiated” claim that Coun Afzal’s supporters were responsible for an arson attack on a Range Rover owned by a Liberal Democrat supporter.

More than two years after the trial, Coun Khan (Lib Dem Aston) finally exhausted grounds for appeal when two High Court judges ruled against an application for a judicial review into Mr Straker’s findings. …

senior Birmingham Liberal Democrat John Hemming said he believed Coun Khan had the support of local Liberal Democrats and was considering taking the issue to the Court of Appeal. Coun Khan faces a possible unprofessional conduct hearing, which could result in his suspension as a barrister.

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Even if the allegations are true, this is not how we should be trying to win votes.
It is the job of the police and the judicial system to ascertain whether someone is guilty of a criminal offence. Until they have done so, it is wrong to accuse anyone of commiting a crime, no matter how convinced you are of their guilt. It is in effect a breach of their civil liberties.

by Geoffrey Payne on July 27, 2009 at 11:19 pm. Reply #

What a great candidate.

by john zims on July 28, 2009 at 12:49 am. Reply #

The Birmingham Mail report contained just seven sentences. Stephen Tall snipped out just the first half of sentence number 1 (“LIBERAL Democrat leader Nick Clegg was today under pressure to sack one of his rising stars in Birmingham after …”), and sentence number 5 (“After the High Court ruling, city council Labour group leader Sir Albert Bore said he had written to Mr Clegg urging him to “take immediate action” against Coun Khan.”).

I’m not sure what the rationale was behind the removal of those bits.
Maybe we were supposed to think, “Oh dear. Still, it can’t be all that bad – no one is calling for his removal as a candidate”?

by Herbert Brown on July 28, 2009 at 1:05 am. Reply #

Why on earth is this guy still our candidate? Clearly not suitable, he should be sacked immediately.

by Andrew Turvey on July 28, 2009 at 2:48 am. Reply #

@ Herbert Brown – your ability to see conspiracy at every turn really is remarkable.

Snipped for two reasons: (i) I never reproduce copyrighted material in full, at least without the copyright holder’s permission, and (ii) it’s the local party’s responsibility first and foremost. The calls for Nick to intervene are simply there to amp-up the story.

by Stephen Tall on July 28, 2009 at 9:19 am. Reply #


If you believe that snipping one and a half out of seven sentences converts a breach of copyright into “fair use”, I think you need to do a bit more research into copyright law!

by Herbert Brown on July 28, 2009 at 9:50 am. Reply #

Stephen, that is an incredibly lame excuse and is no justification.

This site is great for us taking a balanced and even handed view of the good and bad of Lib Dem politics. Something the others do not do. However given the fuss we made about the candidate in Watford even demanding an apology from David Cameron I do not see that it does us any good to censor part of it.

Either publish it or don’t. Poor, very poor.

by Meandyew on July 28, 2009 at 12:04 pm. Reply #

The question is whether councillor Khan is going to appeal? If he is & the court can hear the case this year then the local party could wait for the result. Otherwise he must resign, as PPC & councillor. Only if the local party is unwilling to act should the National party get involved.

by plumbus on July 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm. Reply #

Stephen was quite right to omit the rtetorical calls for Clegg to do something. A report in the Guardian gave the Liberal Democrat response.

….A Lib Dem spokeswoman said that an inquiry into Khan’s conduct had been launched but then suspended because of legal advice that it should not take place until the councillor’s appeal was heard.

“Now it has been heard and the appeal has been made, the investigation will resume and whatever disciplinary action is appropriate will be taken,” she said.

It is – incidentally – quite a feat for Albert Bore to be attacking other people and other parties over their standards.

by EastEnder on July 28, 2009 at 2:12 pm. Reply #

The problem with immediate action is the nature of what has been said. This is somewhat akin to a criminal conviction in that it is the finding of a court (albeit on a different burden of proof). The problem is that Cllr Khan was just a witness in the case not an “accused”. He didn’t necessarily have the opportunity to have the allegations put to him and to formulate his defence/response.

Now would seem the right time for a party investigation to take place as there is clearly a case to answer. (it seems the Bar Council take a similar view)

by Hywel on July 29, 2009 at 11:32 am. Reply #

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