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Cllr. Ahmed Khan in assault allegation

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cllr. ahmed khanSouth Tyneside Independent Alliance deputy leader in attack claim

Yes, the slow motion car crash that is the South Tyneside Independent Alliance keeps rolling on, the Shields Gazette this evening published as it’s main story an allegation that Cllr. Ahmed Khan was involved in a heated altercation and an alleged attack on a 29 year old man on the steps of South Shields Town Hall yesterday. I was informed about the incident within minutes of it happening but have had to be very careful in not publishing any details until now, and I must regretfully inform you that I will  be keeping a close eye on comments to this post as there is a possibility of prejudicing any possible proceedings that may result from any possible investigation.

The incident took place as South Tyneside Council was launching it’s Cultures Together event with a photoshoot involving the Shields Gazette, the man claimed to be the victim of the alleged assault is known to me and is a leading member of South Shields Bangladeshi community.

Councillor Khan is no stranger to controversy, he was elected as an Independent councillor for the Beacon and Bents ward in South Shields in May 2008, the previous year he’d lost a ballot in the same ward and launched an electoral petition against the Returning Officer claiming irregularities in the poll, this court action was later dropped leaving him with considerable costs.

In January of this year he found himself embroiled in another controversy which led to a number of readers letters in the Shields Gazette after he was involved in a protest at South Shields Town Hall, he had helped to persuade parents to remove their children from schools in the town to protest at the Israeli/Gaza conflict, and left schools with little time to respond to his email informing them of the action. This led to the borough’s three Conservative councillors referring the matter to the local standards committee.

Also in January this year Cllr. Khan was involved in an ugly looking confrontation in the council chamber with Cllr. David Potts, the Conservative group leader, the row continued on January 28 th when both parties were threatening to take the other to the Standards Board.

Further controversy ensued last month when I revealed that Cllr. Khan had broken a long standing pledge to never claim any allowances or expenses, something which resulted in another avalanche of letters to the editor of the Shields Gazette, but as yet little response from Cllr. Khan.

One year into his four year stint for Beacon and Bents ward and he has made more column inches than anyone since Don Dixon or Terry Woods!

However, it is his colleagues in the still dwindling (more on that tomorrow) Independent Alliance group that I feel for, his ebullient and sometimes volatile personality (see above) reflects not just upon himself but on his contribution to the leadership of the group and the way in which they are perceived as representatives of the opposition parties in South Tyneside. As a body which attempted to bring a fresh new outlook to our local politics they appear to be drifting miles away from their script, and having lost a number of their original councillors the remaining rump must now question exactly what their own personal priorities must be in the struggle against local Labour dominance.

Do they wish to continue to polarise opinion and court controversy, or take a more considered thoughtful and pragmatic approach to opposition which may win them more friends in the wider community?

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Written by curly

June 18, 2009 at 7:41 pm

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