Disgraced ex-mayor Subhan Shafiq gave character references for THREE alleged sex offenders applying to become city cabbies, it has been revealed.
According to official council documents seen by the Citizen, Councillor Shafiq vouched for two men accused of sexual offences – as well as giving his backing to rapist Nadeem Kiari.
Police raised concerns with Milton Keynes Council over all three men, but two were not convicted.
Contrary to the documents, Mr Shafiq claims that in one case he only acted as an interpreter.
Councillor Catriona Morris, chairman of Milton Keynes Council’s regulatory committee, claims Mr Shafiq gave a character reference 18 months ago for one suspect immediately after hearing details about the sexual allegations – but his application was refused.
Ms Morris said: “I chaired a meeting where Subhan gave a character reference for another taxi driver.
“My colleagues and I chose not to grant it as we did not believe they were a fit and proper person. It was someone we deemed would not be appropriate for the job as a taxi driver.
“The concerns in the report were about sexual offences. I do not remember the specific details of that case but everyone in that room would have been fully aware of any areas of concern.”
Mr Shafiq resigned as mayor when it emerged he had given a reference to a convicted rapist who successfully applied to become a city taxi driver. Nadeem Ahmed Kiani, who had four convictions for serious sexual offences, went on to work in the city for three years. Mr Shafiq has also worked as a cabbie in the city himself.
This week former Tory councillor Don Hoyle has told how Subhan helped one suspected sex offender appeal to have his licence reissued in 2011. Mr Hoyle, who was on the appeal committee at the time, believes the sexual assault happened while the man in question was working as a taxi driver in Milton Keynes.
He said: “He had apparently driven a girl somewhere and she then accused him of sexually assaulting her, but she was unable to identify him in a parade.
“The police did not pursue any charges so the case had to be dropped and he re-applied to carry on working as a taxi driver. Subhan came in and spoke on this man’s behalf – he didn’t say much, but he was there. I do not think another councillor spoke for anyone the whole time I was on the committee.”
Leader of the Lib Dem group Douglas McCall is standing by Mr Shafiq and last week appointed him to two new council roles.
Mr Shafiq was appointed to the health and adult social care committee and joint negotiating committee.
Mr McCall told the Citizen:“As leader I would want to see evidence. Subhan has told me he did not do it and I believe him. If they prove to be true, then we will see.
“Nobody has broken any law or rules. You are all trying to find him guilty before any investigation.”
Meanwhile the revelations have caused an outbreak of fury from city Conservatives.
Veteran Tory councillor Andrew Dransfield said: “If this is true, and Subhan has been giving glowing references for three different taxi drivers who have all either been convicted of sex offences or were suspected of sex offences, then I am very concerned for the safety for the children and vulnerable people all over Milton Keynes.
“We must question the leadership of the Lib Dems. Subhan should be suspended to say the least.
“To quote James Bond - once is happenstance.
“Twice is coincidence.
“Three times is enemy action.”