Councillors involved in allowing a serial rapist work as a Milton Keynes cabbie are given new roles on committees

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Councillors who granted a serial rapist a taxi driver’s licence were appointed on to new committees last night.

Ex-Mayor Subhan Shafiq - who resigned his position after it emerged he gave Nadeem Kiani a character reference for his application - is now a member of Milton Keynes Council’s health and adult social care select committee, replacing Councillor Paul Alexander.

Councillor Stuart Burke, the former chairman of the sub-committee who granted the licence, was also appointed member of overview and scrutiny management committee and overview and scrutiny working group replacing Councillor Derek Eastman - despite calls for both men to resign as councillors.

Council leader Pete Marland has questioned the judgement of group leader Douglas McCall who has shown support to his two Lib Dem members since the scandal broke on August 29.

Mr Marland said: “I just don’t think they get it. They don’t understand how much this has upset the public and how wrong their decision was.

“The councillors involved now have to rebuild trust and unfortunately this does not help the public - it just shows another error of judgement from the whole Lib Dem group.

“You have to question Douglas McCall’s judgement.”

The convicted rapist Mr Kiani, 44, attacked prostitutes by hiding in the back of a car, threatening them with weapons and forcing them to strip.

But in spite of his past, and his eight-year prison sentence, he was granted a cab licence in the city by the council.

He worked for three years in Milton Keynes, first as a private hire driver and subsequently as a taxi driver, including work for Skyline Taxis.

Mr Marland said: “It’s remarkable because in any first step in a journey moving forward, saying and meaning the word sorry for the actual incident - not for the situation they have found themselves in - is so important.

“They have to understand why that decision was so wrong. If they don’t, how can people trust their judgement?

“There are some questions that still need to be answered and the committee may want to look at Subhan’s suitability for that committee. The health committee is a really important committee.

“It is up to them.”

Labour’s Gladstone McKenzie, the vice-chairman of the sub-committee who granted the licence has not been appointed a new role, but does remain a councillor.

Mr Marland added: “At the moment Gladstone is thinking about what he has done and is trying to rebuild trust with the community.

“At this time I did not think it was appropriate to put him on any other committees.”