A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Respect starts to fall apart in Tower Hamlets

News from the Tower Hamlets Labour Group:

"Cllr. Waiseul Islam joins Labour Party and slams Respect on local record

The Labour Party today welcomed Cllr Waiseul Islam to membership of the Party and the controlling group on Tower Hamlets Council.

Announcing his move to Labour, Cllr Islam said:
“This has been a long and carefully thought out decision by me to leave the Respect Party and to join the Labour Party. I have always believed in the principles of Labour and what it stands for and I have never felt comfortable within Respect since the election in May 2006. I have been more and more frustrated with Respect which offers little in the way of policies, direction or service to the local community in Tower Hamlets, which is the real reason why I entered politics. I reject the notion of dividing the local community for political gain, which is what I believe Respect are effectively doing."

He continued:

“My motivation for returning to the Labour Party is that it will enable me to better serve my constituents and work alongside people that have more in common with my own political views. In hindsight, my move to the Respect Party was a major error in my judgement and if I had the insight into Respect that I do now, it is not something that would have happened. The challenge for me is to represent my constituents and support residents within the borough who are facing a wide range of issues. I believe that I can deliver much more effectively for local residents by being with a party that has a vision and represents all of the communities within the borough.”

“Respect is not a party that can deliver, especially when its elected MP is hardly visible in his constituency, leaving those who voted for him neglected. He has time to attend television shows and present radio shows but not to turn up to his surgery and meet his constituents. I believe this is wrong.”

“With government and council support I believe that local residents can benefit from the socio-economic regeneration of the area. This can only be achieved by working with a progressive party that can carry the citizens of the borough into the future and not take it backward. Labour is also the only party that can truly challenge uninvited Tories creeping into Tower Hamlets and attempting to destroy it with their discredited policies.”

Cllr. Denise Jones, Labour Leader of Tower Hamlets Council has welcomed Cllr. Islam’s decision saying:

“Labour is the only party in Tower Hamlets with both the record and the vision to improve the lives of local people. I am glad that Cllr. Islam will be joining us in this work and I am sure that his constituents in Whitechapel as well as the people of Tower Hamlets as a whole will benefit from his principled decision. Respect has long claimed to be what they are not and now we have heard the real truth from one who knows – he has said that Respect stands for division and inaction and have nothing to offer the people of the East End.”

This means that the composition of Tower Hamlets Council is now:
27 Labour
11 Respect
7 Conservative
6 Liberal Democrat


Anonymous Broad Church said...

Excellent news. Not that I know anything about this particular fella and how valuable a gain he is for Labour, but it's good to see the Respec circus falling apart.

What was Respect indicative of? Frustration, especially amongst some students and Muslims, over the Labour government going to war. I hope that the party is sufficiently renewed under Gordon Brown to become once more the natural home for these sorts of people (obviously not the SWPers, but the less ideological idealists).

Labour should put effort into recruiting Salma Yaqoob. She is articulate and relatively sane compared to the rest of them.

7:25 pm, May 02, 2007

Anonymous Dan said...

"Oceania is at war with Eastasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia."

"Labour is a progressive party. Labour has always been a progressive party."

Bloody fair-weather types.

Good the sectarians have become a sinking ship, mind.

7:35 pm, May 02, 2007


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