Lib Dems pressured to reconsider new job for disgraced ex-mayor

Lib Dem group leader Douglas McCall
Lib Dem group leader Douglas McCall

A vote calling on the Lib Dems to reconsider appointing the disgraced ex-mayor to a new council role succeeded last night.

But the Lib Dem group leader, Councillor Douglas McCall, responded by accusing Conservative councillor Alice Bramall, chairman of the Health and Social Care committee which Mr Shafiq recently joined, of playing “petty politics”.

The written statement was met with anger from councillors.

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

“The Lib Dem group is a democratic group and all appointments are chosen through a democratic process and are not in the gift of a leader.”

The Conservative motion passed with 39 votes in favour.

Miss Bramall told the Citizen: “This is an obvious attempt by the Lib Dems to change the story and detract from the issue at hand, by attacking me.

“The motion regarding Mr Shafiq was put forward from the committee to council and it is absolutely right that we hold Mr McCall to account over the decision he made.

“It is the committee who asked him to reconsider the appointment responding to wide scale public concern, in a motion that was shaped by both Labour and Conservative members.”

Leader of the Conservative group, Councillor Edith Bald, told the council those involved in the taxi licencing scandal should “stand up and be counted because they are accountable for their actions”.

She said: “Members of the public feel very strongly about what happened and that the safety of their families and friends was put at risk through the action taken by a few councillors.

“As councillors our job is to represent the public as best we can.

“This is what Councillor Bramall did as Chair of The Health and Social Care Committee after receiving numerous representations from members of the public.

“She put the safety of residents first by asking the Leader of the Lib Dems, Cllr McCall, to reconsider whether a member of his droup who had displayed very bad judgement, and who so far fails to recognise he did this, should remain as a member of this Committee.

“Surely it is only right and proper for Cllr McCall to do this.

“As Leader of the Conservatives I would not allow a Conservative councillor who had displayed such bad judgement to remain on such an important committee.”