City’s Lib Dem group leader: ‘I welcome Subhan Shafiq’s resignation’

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Lib Dem colleagues have welcomed the resignation of ex-mayor Subhan Shafiq.

Councillor Douglas McCall released a statement to the Citizen last night, just hours after the party said they would keep tight-lipped until a group meeting was held.

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The members have stood by Mr Shafiq throughout the last three months while various facts and allegations emerged.

Mr McCall said: “After reflecting on the council’s internal report, Mr Shafiq has chosen to resign. I fully support and welcome his decision.

“Councillors have only had the full report today and therefore have needed to reflect on the content.

“It is clear that mistakes were made and action is required.”

Mr McCall added that his group are now considering the report and will release a statement in the near future.

> The Lib Dems’ previous statements about Subhan Shafiq:

When the scandal initially broke in August, Mr McCall said he and his members fully supported Mr Shafiq.

He claimed that some public criticism against Mr Shafiq has been racially-motivated, saying: “Some of it is because he is Pakistani.”

On September 18, the Citizen exclusively revealed that Subhan Shafiq gave character references for three alleged sex offenders applying to become city cabbies,

In response to this, Mr McCall said: “As leader I would want to see evidence. Mr Shafiq has told me he did not do it and I believe him. If they prove to be true, then we will see.”

On October 8, councillors on the Health and Social Care committee voted not to allow Mr Shafiq to join the committee,

This was met with anger from Mr McCall who said: “I don’t know why the Conservatives are being so nasty and vindictive.

“This matter has already been handled by the last full council, so we believe that it is not right the committee chairman Alice Bramall has put this on the agenda.”

On October 22, the council voted for the Lib Dems to reconsider appointing Mr Shafiq.

Mr McCall responded by accusing Conservative councillor Alice Bramall, chairman of the committee, of playing “petty politics”.

He said: “We are astonished the Conservative group has used the position of chair of a non-political scrutiny select committee for party political purposes.”