Corruption and Hijab Row Labour Councillor Awarded Key Commonwealth Games Role

Police officers and security stand outside the perimetre around the International Convention Centre venue in Birmingham, central England, on October 1, 2016 on the eve of the start of the ruling Conservative party annual conference. Britain's ruling Conservative party will hold its annual conference at the ICC in Birmingham from …

A Birmingham Labour councillor has been handed an important role planning the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, despite facing serious corruption allegations and previously being forced to resign as an “equalities” spokesman after allegedly bullying a Christian school.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar has also been slammed for calling Israel a “terrorist state”, for getting an Islamic wedding when still legally married to another woman, and using Sharia law to get a divorce.

And last year, a constituent and distant relative of Mr Zaffar, Asaf Khan, alleged serious and ongoing corruption at the High Court in response to harassment claims by Mr Zaffar over Twitter allegations.

Mr Zaffar has received an MBE for his charity work, but it is alleged he has “misappropriated” hundreds of thousands of pounds for “personal benefit”, The Times reports.

One of several allegations in the court document says that Mr Zaffar has links to a charity that has “a balance sheet value of less than £5,000 but has been awarded a grant of £347,000” and claims he “has a history of associating with third sector organisations that have subsequently had significant financial issues”.

He is also allegedly linked to a domestic abuse charity that received £500,000 in donations, gift aid, and publicly funded grants but collapsed this year amid an investigation into alleged financial irregularities, the paper said.

Concerns have been raised about the number of alleged extremists standing for Birmingham City Council, the largest local authority in the UK, with representatives also allegedly turning a blind eye to extremists in the area.

Some council candidates have denied the existence of Islamic State, spread anti-Semitism and homophobia online, and allowed disgraced teachers linked to the ‘Trojan horse’ scandal to campaign in elections.

Mr Zaffar was forced to step down as the authority “equalities” boss in March last year after being slammed by Ofsted for demanding a Catholic school alter its uniform policy to allow a very young girl to wear the Islamic headscarf – who was later revealed to be a member of his family.

Now, he is just one of six out of 101 councillors selected for a key rolling in planning the city’s £750 million 2022 Commonwealth Games, The Times reports.

Along with the Labour council leader Ian Ward and deputy Brigid Jones, he will join an advisory committee expected to play a big role in planning for the event, with access to a separate organising committee.

After his resignation last year, Mr Zaffar returned to the council cabinet as a member for transport and environment in May. A council investigation was on-going but his lawyers say he is innocent.

Mr Zaffar’s solicitors also said the corruption allegations were baseless and all council and Labour Party checks had “concluded that he is a fit and proper person to be a councillor and has no cause to answer any speculation”.

Monitoring officer at the council Kate Charlton said there was “no case to answer” and claims were “potentially vexatious and malicious”.


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