Friday, September 21, 2007

Labour - False Statements

A Labour councillor has been found guilty of falsely branding a Liberal Democrat rival a paedophile and telling electors he had sex with teenage boys. Miranda Grell slurred gay Lib Dem candidate Barry Smith while campaigning for the Leyton ward in Waltham Forest Council, east London, in 2006.

Grell, 29, was convicted by magistrates of two counts of making false statements about another candidate. She was handed a £1,000 fine and will be forced to vacate her seat.

Waltham Forest Magistrates' Court heard in police interviews Grell admitted she had discussed Mr Smith's sexuality with one local resident. She said she told the man Mr Smith claimed to be married despite having a 19-year-old Thai boyfriend.

Grell put the mistake down to political immaturity and inexperience at campaigning.

Miranda Grell
Feel free to leave a message of farewell on Miranda's blog here

More about Grell's political immaturity from her blog.

My mother was a teacher and formidable local activist. She instilled in me the importance of civic duty and public service. As a result I became active in my local community as a school governor, got involved in the Leyton & Whipps Cross Community Council, becoming Community Vice Chair, and I also sat on the board of Leyton ward’s Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder as the resident ‘Community Champion’ for Jobs.

On the 4th of May 2006, I was elected a Leyton ward councillor for the Labour party, taking the seat from a high profile Lib Dem council cabinet member and overturning a 600+ vote majority. Prior to May 2006, the Liberals had held the Leyton ward for twenty-five long years

….and now we know why don't we

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Labour - Mayor - Fraud

Sep 13 2007

by Paula Owens, Liverpool Daily Post

Mayor of Sefton John Walker arrives at Sefton Magistrates' Court with his wife, Catie

FIVE former Sefton mayors are expected to testify next week against another ex-mayor, John Walker, when he stands trial for benefit fraud.

Walker, 56, and his wife Catie, 47, will both appear at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday charged with several offences, including four counts of conspiracy.

The ex-Labour councillor is accused of failing to declare his mayoral and councillor allowances to the Department for Work and Pensions.

He is also alleged to have falsified disability living allowance claim forms by misrepresenting the true extent of his needs and capabilities. Walker and his wife, of Farmer Place, Bootle, deny all the charges.

Documents to which the Daily Post has obtained access reveal that those asked to appear as witnesses for the prosecution include former mayors David Pearson (Conservative), Kevin Clusky (Labour), Anthony Hill (Lib-Dem), Maureen Fearn (Lib-Dem) and Brian Rimmer (Lib-Dem).

It is also understood that Lib-Dem council leader Tony Robertson, Conservative leader Paula Parry, Sefton’s chief executive Graham Haywood, assistant chief executive Craig Galloway and the authority’s legal director, Caroline Elwood, will all be asked to give evidence against Mr Walker.

The trial is expected to last least two weeks
A spokeswoman for the DWP said they could not comment at this stage for fear of jeopardising the legal process.

Walker was arrested for alleged benefit fraud on January 9, 2006. He continued as Mayor of Sefton until he stepped down from his seat in Crosby’s Manor ward in May of that year.

Born in Liverpool and educated in West Derby and Roby, Walker studied business management at university before going to work for a large Merseyside engineering firm.

In the following years, he worked for a number of national retail companies, moving from the role of management trainee to hold senior management positions. He later set up a management consultancy.

After suffering a serious illness in the early 1990s, the father-of-one carried out voluntary work.

He was controversially appointed Mayor of Sefton after only six months of public service.

Members from all parties were said to be “disgusted” after the Labour group nominated him, feeling he had not served as a councillor for long enough to receive the honour.

Since Sefton council was formed in 1973, mayor-designates had served a minimum of six years and nominations were traditionally voted for unanimously.

However, on his appointment, 30 councillors voted for, six against and 17 abstained.


Former Mayor Jailed For fraud

A FORMER Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton were jailed today for benefit fraud.

Over seven years, John, 57, and Catie Walker, 48, of Farmer's Place, Bootle, claimed more than £36,000 that they were not entitled to from the Department of Works and Pensions.

Today, at Liverpool Crown Court, Mr Walker was sentenced to 15 months in prison and his wife to eight months.

Judge Brian Lewis told Walker he had “stained the reputation of the mayoralty and let down those who put you there”.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

And Another Lib Dem Paedophile

A middle-aged businesswoman has been jailed for six years for her part in a paedophile ring that met on the internet and abused two children.
Church-going Monica McCanch, 55, linked up with school governor Archibald Wood and retail manager Steven Horton to subject a 12-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy to a catalogue of abuse that included rape.

They submitted the youngsters to a six-hour ordeal, forcing them to perform sex acts and to watch as the adults engaged in sex. Last night the trio were starting jail sentences for a total of 42 offences with 17 more taken into consideration.

Horton, who was described by Judge Jeremy Carey at Maidstone Crown Court as the "ringleader", was jailed indefinitely. McCanch, divorced from her grammar school teacher husband, and Wood, a former army major, were each sentenced to six years.

As previously reported Wood was an active member of the Lib Dems

A former Army major and a teacher's wife were exposed yesterday as members of a child abuse ring in which young victims were offered for sex on the Internet.

They subjected two 12-year-olds to an afternoon of abuse which left the youngsters devastated.

Details of their appalling crimes emerged yesterday after they pleaded guilty to 41 child abuse offences with another 17 to be taken into consideration. Horton's offences included child rape.

Twice-married Wood, who has grown-up children, was chairman of the board of governors at Tavistock Community College and a governor at St Rumon's Infants School. As part of his role he had been trained in child protection issues.

An active member of the Liberal Democrats in Tavistock, he was heavily involved in volunteer work.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tory Violence Update

An update to this tory violence post

Councillor Paul High

A councillor has been fined for threatening to kill his former lover. Paul High, Worthing Borough Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, left ex-fiancee Zsuszana Krammarics so terrified she fled the home they shared fearing for her life.

The 51-year-old claimed Miss Krammarics had made false allegations against him because she was "a woman scorned" and denied charges of common assault and assault by beating. But magistrates in Worthing yesterday took just two hours to decide High had threatened his victim and found him guilty of common assault.

They ordered High to pay a fine of £660 along with £350 compensation to Miss Krammarics and court costs of £1,000.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Conservative Vote Rigging

Former mayor is charged following vote rigging probe

CHARGED: Former Mayor of Peterborough Raja Akhtar and, inset, Mohammed Choudhary, who are both now facing charges relating to alleged vote rigging.
CHARGED: Former Mayor of Peterborough Raja Akhtar and, inset, Mohammed Choudhary, who are both now facing charges relating to alleged vote rigging.

A SERVING city councillor and a former Peterborough mayor have been charged with vote rigging.
Cllr Abdul Razaq, of Alexandra Road, Millfield, and former mayor Raja Akhtar, who lost his Central Ward seat in the May elections this year, have both been charged with forgery.

A third man, Mohammed Khaliq (49), of Foxdale, New England, was also charged at Bridge Street Police Station yesterday.

Akhtar (51), of Newark Avenue, Millfield, is the second former city mayor to be charged in connection with Operation Hooper – a probe into alleged vote rigging in the 2004 election.

Mohammed Choudhary, who has already been charged, was due to appear at Peterborough Crown Court today.

Choudhary, who was mayor from May 1996 to 1997, has denied charges including defrauding election officers by submitting false postal ballots and making a false instrument, namely a poll card in connection with alleged vote rigging during the city council's 2004 elections.

The 47-year-old, of Cobden Street, Peterborough, along with Labour Party official Tariq Mahmood (39), of Clarence Road, Peterborough, and Maqbool Hussain (50), of Ledbury Road, Peterborough, who unsuccessfully stood in Central Ward at the 2004 local elections, have already been charged with conspiracy to defraud and forgery. They are set to stand trial at King's Lynn Crown Court in
Yesterday Razaq (47) was charged with six counts of forgery, Akhtar with five counts of forgery and Khaliq with one charge of forgery. All charges relate to forging poll cards.

The three men went to Bridge Street police station yesterday where they were arrested and charged.

All three have been released on conditional bail to appear before Peterborough Magistates' Court on September 11.

Today, Central Ward councillor Razaq was suspended from the Conservative group on the city council pending the outcome of the case.

A city council spokesman said that Razaq could lose his seat if he is convicted.

Operation Hooper was launched by Peterborough police in June 2004 following concerns about the way the local election was conducted in Central, Park and Ravensthorpe wards.

Dozens of people were questioned by a team of detectives led by Detective Inspector Ian Tandy.