Candidates who have denied the existence of Islamic State, spread anti-Semitism and homophobia online, and have been convicted of serious voter fraud are set to stand for Labour and as independents in Birmingham council elections, one of the UK’s most corrupt local authorities.
Former governors of a Trojan Horse school, where hard-line Muslims attempted spread an extreme ideology, have also been out campaigning for Labour in the city, which has Europe’s largest local authority, serving 1.1 million people with a £3 billion annual budget.
Last year, the city’s Lord Mayor elect, Muhammad Afzal, was forced to stand down after calling the Prime Minister an “Islamophobe” and calling for a boycott of anti-terror laws.
Those standing this year, according to The Times, include student Safia Noor for Labour in the Small Heath ward, a majority Muslim area. After the deadly Islamic State Westminster terror attack, she told upset people to “grow up” and claimed there is “no ISIS”.
She later apologised and has since been endorsed by two local Labour MPs
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 23, 2016
Standing against her as an independent is Shafaq Ahmed, who has been found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices as a Labour candidate and was bankrupted after electoral practitioners sought to recover costs.
Five Labour candidates were banned from standing during a 2004 vote-rigging scandal, the worst in the UK in a century, with allegations of massive postal vote fraud, death threats, intimidation, and bribery.
Richard Mawrey, QC, an election judge, described “massive, systematic and organised fraud” that would “disgrace a banana republic” at the time.
Speaking on his return to politics, Mr. Ahmed, now known as “Shaaky”, said: “I am a community leader and best placed to represent the people of Small Heath, where I have been brought up and lived all my life.”
Three more Labour candidates who have stirred controversy and been accused of harbouring radical Islamic views are also vying for office.
Waseem Zaffar, standing in Lozells ward, stepped down as the authority’s “equalities” boss last year after being slammed by Ofsted for demanding a Catholic school alters its uniform policy to allow very young girls to wear Islamic veils.
He has also been accused of calling Israel a “terrorist state”, being married to two women at the same time, and using Sharia law to get divorced.
— Waseem Zaffar (@WaseemZaffar) April 16, 2018
Then there is Zafar Iqbal, standing in Tyseley and Hay Mills ward, who was forced to apologise in 2016 after sharing on Facebook an anti-Semitic video produced by a former Ku Klux Klan leader.
And Sharon Thompson, standing in North Edgbaston ward, who said sorry and denied homophobia after “liking” an online a post attacking moderate Muslim MPs who voted to legalise gay marriage.
Local elections in Birmingham have been reformed to reduce fraud, now happening every four years, and last year votes were overseen by observers from Uganda and Guyana, sent by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA).
A study last year found one in ten UK Islamist terrorists came from inner-city Birmingham, and Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former head of Ofsted, has described the city as “the equivalent of the 19th-century rotten borough”.
French Islamists are moving to UK cities like Birmingham to have the ‘freedom’ to practice radical Islam. https://t.co/Sw9YQANgys
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 31, 2017