AN Oldham councillor has been arrested on suspicion of raping a 16-year-old girl.
Cllr Asaf Ali, who represents Labour in the Alexandra Ward, was arrested last Tuesday and has been released on police bail, until August 1, pending further inquiries.
Police acted after receiving allegations that the girl had been raped in Oldham, at about noon the day before – Monday, June 4.
Following his arrest Cllr Ali – a father of three – released a statement which said: "I am contesting the allegations made against me and will strongly protect my innocence.
"However, having discussed my situation with the leader of the (Labour) group and the chief whip, and bearing in mind that these matters are continuing to be investigated by the police, I have taken the voluntary decision to withdraw from the Labour group activities.
"I will continue to be available to represent all my constituents and deal with their casework as normal. However, I will additionally step back from my formal positions in the council as chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel and as a junior whip in the Labour group."
# THE 36-year-old councillor was arrested by police last year when a quantity of drugs was found in the wheelarch of his car. He was subsequently released without charge and claimed the drugs had been planted by someone who had a vendetta against him.
Update - Charge dropped April 2008
Mum to Demand Councillor quits