Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ethnic Cleansing?: Race Cards We Have Known



Dr Yasmin Zalzala and LOL have begun a dialogue on this post about experiences of the race card in both selections and elections.

Yasmin was usurped as Man Wit PPC by John Leech who had been her agent in 2001 as they overtook the Tories and created a platform for an unlikely but as it turned out successful challenge on Labour's Keith Bradley. Leech got to do it at least in part because some so far unnamed Lib Dem activist, officer, and possibly candidate circulated a memo suggesting that as an Iraqi Refugee Muslim Woman Yas had four attributes to prevent her electoral success.

The Lib Dems believe they have expelled her from membership in the fall out from this and she did stand as an Independent in 2005 but I believe Yasmin still believes she is in membership.

In her parliamentary elections - two Westminster, one Brussels - she had no experience of any trading on these things from opponents but Yasmin did receive reports of some stirring in local government elections.

Clearly we had some communalist action within and around the Labour Party in the case of the Ealing Southall By-election. And there was an extraordinary incident in the Bethnal Green and Bow selection when one of the women who did not make the cut tried to orchestrate a candidate strike.

I was able to report various example of Lib Dems at these tricks in Manchester:

- A Focus leaflet in Clayton which had an unusual facial hair style feature suggesting the Labour candidate's moustache was somehow related to Saddam, Zapata and/or Stalin;
(I'll dust off the archive sometime)
- A couple of Lib Dem councillors being caught referring on several occasions to a Labour candidate as "kebab boy" in reference to a former job of this graduate professional;
- A Lib Dem Equality Spokesman claiming that Lib Dems were, ahem, whiter than white over Yasmin's de-selection as PPC and in every regard, when also appearing in a communalist Urdu-language advertisement;
(Also all present and incorrect in the LOL archive)

But, enough of our examples. What are the worst examples of race card play, communalism and the like in selections and elections. From opponents or indeed your own party?

Is Yasmin on the money when she suggests "ethnic cleansing" in our politics? Or is that an expression too far?

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Has Leech had those teeth ground down? Having trouble thinking of race card stories that aren't Lib Dems, unless they're actual fascists.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

I shall start blogging on this thread about genteel ethnic cleansing ala UK style.

I hope that lawyers will consider contributing as I hope that this will be useful for victims.

I shall make regular posts about my ethnic cleansing ala the Liberal Democrats

I should add that I had a letter from Jack Straw, the Secretary of State for JUSTICE advising me that I could become my own barrister/solicitor if I cannot afford to hire a professional.

He was responding to my complaint about the mistakes and incompetence of the Legal Services Commission.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

The first 'investigation' by the Liberal Democrats was one year after my complaint of being told my race is a liability.

This was a panel of three including Saj Karim and chaired by Cllr M Ash.

Following are abstracts from the transcripts of interviews with people.

Cllr Alison Firth

'David Kierman said it is dreadful we lost. I said wherever we go Labour will throw everything against Yasmin Zalzala. Labour did on doorstep say about her being an immigrant, doorstep canvass shows, and 'local' Labour candidate. I don't think DK needed to say it to Yasmin Zalzala. She could see

'Conversation over tidying up - not a formal statement. He might have felt as Local Party Chair he had a duty to relay

'DK needs help in dealing with people. Such coversations shouldn't be next day after polling

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Testing

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Interview of Ash committee with John Leech

………….
…………
…………..

JL:

Now - racism + sexisim – David Sandiford, John Commons

It was a city party meeting about July. She called DS and JCo racist & sexists as they were not accepting what she was saying. Repeated it to DS at Local Party meeting. DS then snapped and said it was the other way round. She said it, plenty of witnesses.

THIS LAST PARAGRAPH IS COMPLETELY UNTRUTHFUL. IT IS LIBELLOUS AND DEFAMATORY.

IN FACT SIMON ASHLEY AND ALISON FIRTH CLAIMED IN THE PRESS THAT I HAD CALLED THE PARTY RACIST! THAT IS UNTRUTHFUL AS WELL. AND THEY CLAIMED THEY WERE SPEAKING FOR THE PARTY REGIONALLY AND NATIONALLY!

THE MANCHESTER LIBERAL DEMOCRATS DID NOT EVEN BOTHER TO UNITE THEIR MESSAGE!

THEY ARE NOT STUPID THEREFORE A MORE LIKELY EXPLANATION IS THAT THEY WERE ACTING IN COHORTS WITH THE REGIONAL AND NATIONAL PARTY WHO WANTED TO GET RID OF ME TO LEAVE THE WAY CLEAR FOR A WHITE PERSON WHETHER IN THE WARD OF OLD MOAT OR IN WITHINGTON THE CONSTITUENCY.

THE CRUCIAL FACT (MISTAKE) ABOUT THE REGIONAL ASH INVESTIGATION IS THAT THERE WAS NO CROSS EXAMINATION NOR DID THEY SEEK TO ESTABLISH THE TRUTH ABOUT THE NEGATIVE ALLEGATIONS.

SO I DID NOT SEE THESE ALLEGATIONS AND NEVER HAD THE CHANCE TO TELL WHAT REALLY HAPPENED.

AND YET, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE ASH INVESTIGATION TOLD ME LATER THAT THE FINAL REPORT WAS CHANGED BY THE REGIONAL EXECUTIVE!


Q: Issue of her as candidate, David Kierman supposedly said she cannot win due to being a female from an ethnic minority. Can you see that might change her perception?

Jleech: DK can be very tactless. Says things not meaning to cause offence. YZ in Old Moat will always face an anti YZ vote. Council estates is quite anti Yasmin. Some strong supporters but Labour able to mobilize a vote. Partly racist – play ‘she’s from Iraq’ on doorstep.

Q: So it is true she wouldn’t be able to win?

John Leech: Not that straight forward. There is a racist vote. But Labour very clever, sustained campaign that she is not to be trusted. Leaflets ‘X the truthful candidate’. That put a negative impression on her. In nearby wards, Labour voters are lazy. In Old Moat Labour think they have to go out and ensure YZ doesn’t win.

Perhaps other areas she would have won more easily then she’d be on the council where she should be as a capable and hard working politician.

DK perhaps put badly this.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Coming up in the next episode

Simon Wheale

David Sandiford

Guy Otten

The barrister with a leading chamber in Manchester

Stay tuned!

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Cllr Simon Wheale: Deputy Leader until 2001 and now chair of scrutiny committee:

� �YZ says that DK claimed that there had been a conversation � well in Student Union bar after election result, it covered many results. Sadly YZ did not come. It was general disappointment � more effort poorer result.�

Fact: This means there was a conversation involving the 3 councilors with D Kierman!

� Question from panel: Was it clear David Kierman was going to talk to YZ?
� SW: �Never. Told David Kierman it was disastrously insensitive to do that then, so soon- we�d had disagreement (YZ � DK) during the campaign. YZ complained about a seat in S/W encouraging her to fight. DK encouraged her to go for it. It wasn�t based on conversation with anyone else. YZ got a conspiracy theory from then that all the Cllrs thought she should do this � it was DK off his own bat.�

Fact: This means that David Kierman had told them he was going to talk to me and Simon Wheale had told him �it was disastrously insensitive to do that then so soon. Also, it is untruthful to claim that I had discussed approaches from other seats/areas with either David Kierman or anyone else.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Cllr Simon Ashley, Leader of Manchester Liberal Democrats

The conversation starts with a mention to a complaint that Simon Ashley made about me.

Simon Ashley: ‘I did not feel (his complaint) could be dealt with internally, hence bringing it here. We had to keep the cohesion and goodwill & I do not think that Yasmin Zalzala complaint kept that hence my complaint.’

(Simon Ashley is referring to my complaint on being told my race is a liability and to move on etc)

Simon Ashley: ‘ I agree David Kierman not most tactful person, but its not concerted………….don’t think DK right to say should move on in that context; it was too soon after the election for proper reflection, think its off his own bat.

I think Local Party level problem is DK and YZ very similar, stubborn, wants to get their own way – but its not race/gender its personality clash….

‘In Manchester politics no worse accusation likely than that sitting councillors are racist / sexist. As leader, I can’t let that go.

Q: Yasmin Zalzala says outcome was discriminatory but not individuals are racist and sexist.

SA: ‘Acted in racist and sexist manner’ is dancing on the head of a pin. She’s pulled back by saying ‘acted in racist and sexist manner’ but she’s never substantiated the allegations and it could have easily cost us 2 seats with ethnic minority candidates.

You’re either a racist and sexist or you are not. If you are give evidence, I don’t want them in my Party.


Yasmin Zalzala:

How the accusations of racism and sexism arose. The Manchester Liberal Democrats Boundary Review:

The only time I used the terms sexist and racist are contained in the email below. The complaint related to unequal treatment by David Sandiford, John Commons and Simon Ashley in consulting me, a female ethnic minority, and the Burnage candidate, John Cameron, a white man. There was extensive consultation, street by street negotiations, mediation (‘developed a winning territory’) with the white man in Burnage. Yet Old Moat, was left as a large council estate. I was told these details on the morning of the meeting to approve the plans and they said that if I did not like it I could put my own proposals to the boundary commission! There was no consultation, nothing. Just contempt and derision.

I think it was fair to ask why Old Moat was the only ward in the city beeing treated with such hostility especially compared to Burnage. Since I was the only candidate from a minority background, I was wondering aloud if that had anything to do with it



The email on 08/07/02 reads:
Simon, I wish to lodge a formal complaint for undemocratic and improper conduct by Cllr David Sandiford and Cllr John Commons. The consultation regarding the boundary commission was sham and the conduct of both David and John was patronizing, sexist and racist. Please remember that the McPherson report concluded that an offence should be regarded as racist if the victim regards it as such.

Please advise me what you are going to do so I can consider what other options are available. I am quite prepared to go to the Council’s standards committee.
Yasmin Zalzala


I repeat that was the only time I used the words racist and sexist. This is further evidence that what John Leech said in his evidence was untruthful. So are the claims that Cllrs Simon Ashley and Alison Firth made in the Press.

It seems to me that the above is conduct that brings the Party into disrepute (a clause to justify membership cancellation according to the Lib Dem constitution). Yet what happened is that the Liberal Democrats cancelled MY membership (the victim)!

Also, David Kierman, the chair of the constituency continued for nearly 2 years as chair of the constituency. No one reprimanded him and when he stood down as chair he became membership secretary and still is to this day to the best of my knowledge.

Victimization:

To the best of my knowledge, on receipt of my email above, Cllr Simon Ashley did not investigate. All he did is ask for an apology for my accusing David S and John C of being sexist and racist. When I refused as there was no explanation for the unequal treatment, Cllr Simon Ashley stopped helping me with my council casework.

In another development, at the constituency meeting in 19th October 02, David Sandiford called me “racist and sexist”. My reply was: ‘I don’t give a toss what you think. You’re a bully.’

I reported this to Cllr Simon Ashley and to the regional executive. No action was taken by anyone to the best of my knowledge.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

To: yasus@cix.compulink.co.uk
Subject: Sadness and regret
Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 12:22:13 +0100
Yasmin
Please don't take your defeat badly.
I do think you have taken my conversation with you the wrong way.
I know that the defeat was very hard to take.
I felt as bad as you do.
I never ever believed that you would loose.
You do not deserve failure. I feel I failed you.
All through the campaign we knew it would be close,
However the hostility felt towards you in the council estate is great, hence the reason I
never liked campaigning there.
The positive things to take out of the campaign are the great love and affection the Old
Moat members and deliverers have towards you. You must be very please to have so many loyal
and honest citizens. I was very please to work with so many excellent people. I really feel
extremely bad that I was not able to win for them. They deserve a Liberal Democrat
councilor and I am personally so upset that I was not able to deliver one for them.
-The other is yourself, you are a great candidate and you deserve victory. The party is lucky to have you amongst its ranks and realises that you are a great asset, however we must accept reality, however hard that is to swallow.
3/5 ths of Old Moat is good, however 2/5 are bigots, they say things to you to your face and then go out and vote for someone else. Personally I don't think they deserve you. I find it hard to stomach that we as Liberals will have to pander to their views, it sickens me inside that we will have to find a type of candidate just to appease them. I know its very noble of you to want to continue, however we must accept that the people of Old Moat don't deserve you and the party cannot waste your talents in trying to persuade 2000 bigots in what is good for them.
Now I know you feel deep attachment to Old Moat and the members feel the same to you, you love them and they love you. However we here in Manchester Withington are denying your true calling. You deserve to be elected and We, that's everybody in Manchester Withington, every councilor, every member, every supporter, especially me, want you to win. I wish I could wave a magic wand and give you a seat where your true talents would flourish. Unfortunately I cannot and even though I thinks its fantastic that you still want to take on the bigots yet again. The party should not waste your abilities. We should not watch you yet again, attempt to climb up Everest only to be beaten at the top and pushed back down once again.
I will not oppose your renomination for the Old Moat ward. Nor will anyone else on the jxecutive. However we must look at the Old Moat members, are we giving them the right
"candidate? They are a great group of people the best I have ever worked with and they deserve victory?

Yasmin Zalzala said...

David Kierman Interview:

DK: We lost badly. 60% of ward is a council estate – Lab tactic was push very heavily there. The other boxes we won; boxes gave Lab 1000 votes.

Q: Why did she lose?

DK: Canvassing ‘I’ll vote for you not for her’ – colour issue. Heard from other canvassers too. Other wards have all estates which we clearly win. Somehow YZ doesn’t have the affinity with them.

Q: The next day?

After count did figures. Saw a majorYZ supporter. Said is it time we found a new candidate. I said could be blip. But suggested a meeting with YZ and members. If we feel she’s best candidate – keep YZ. Whoever ward chooses, the Local Party will back.

Went to YZ house. ………………………………………………I suggested this meeting, and was thrown out of her house.

Q: Did you suggest she couldn’t win Old Moat due to her race/sex?

I think a lot of people have told her, given estate race vote – I may have referred to it that day.

I told her PPC selection against 9 councillors would be harder. She’d lost 6 times even with so much effort. So I asked her if sure wants to keep banging head against brick wall. She upsets us but she’s a very good politician and would be great asset. I asked are you going to go for PPC ship here (and lose again).

Q: When was this?

A few days after I went round with Bill Fisher to complete the accounts.

Q: Did you discuss this with councillors?

They thought it was end of YZ. ………………..i.e. Me, Alison Firth, possibly John Leech, Simon Wheale. But all local party concerned about what would happen next. So was YZ going to go for PPC, was she going to run for Old Moat, did she have papers for other seats – Devon, Rochdale. ……………… Thought elsewhere better chance of winning if our PPC kept losing in Old Moat.

Please note, I left out some sentences that are untruthful allegations made by the interviewee.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

In response to the many enquiries about the final report, here are the main conclusions where the race charges are concerned:

In May 2003, Saj Karim, now MEP, wrote as part of a regional investigation:

�As an independent panel member I do find it very difficult to see how a person of ethnic minority origin could place anything other than a racial motive on a statement which sets out in basic terms that, after having put so much into a Constituency/ward, that an individual should move on because their race will always prove to a barrier in that particular Constituency/ward.

The full committee concluded

�we are far from happy about the way the Constituency might have drawn conclusions that this meant there should be another candidate�.

Coming up tomorrow: Whad Cllr Dr David Sandiford told the committee

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Interview with Cllr Dr David Sandiford, one of the most senior Lib Dem councillors in Manchester, and former Lord Mayor:

David Sandiford presented the panel with a written submission that I have seen. It is full of untruthful allegations and re-writing of events to paint me in a bad light. His allegations are libellous and defamatory.

Q: Do you feel any perception that Yasmin Zalzala concern was treated differently because it was YZ?

David Sandiford: No, I went to greater detail to be sure she knew. ….I was appointed by the group to an agreed timescale. Part was consultation, then work done number crunching. Was just taken to LParties and not wards for sensible level of discussion. There were many phases to process YZ did not appreciate this. I phoned YZ the morning we were going to her Local Party to explain Withington/Old Moat boarder.

FACT: This is untrue. There was extensive consultation with Burnage and Withington and nothing with Old Moat.

Q: On that meeting, the accusation of Racist and Sexist arose. Yasmin Zalzala says fine distinction - conduct not the individuals. Do you need retraction thereof?

DS: Boundary process is complex. I explained to all people equally carefully not to be patronising but because of sheer complexity.

I feel these charges are the final straw she needs to withdraw it unless she means it – publically – and apologise – unless it is proven. At some point some people may have sounded patronising but not me I think this is linked to my supporting John Leech for the PPC.

FACT: The above is untruthful and patronising. There was no complexity in the boundary review and the rest of the statement is patronising and untruthful.


.
.
.
.
.
DS: Us councillors, if were not aware (ref to racism and sexism) would become so quickly due to Equal opportunities position of the council and events over the years in the city. I listen carefully to Yasmin Zalzala on these matters. Example Old Moat Labour leaflet ‘…. Labour only local candidate’. – YZ said its racism. I said this does not mean its racist. I’ve always seen her (Yasmin Zalzala) as another middle class person. I know we had a story Labour would play the race card. But no one had evidence- if there was we’d have taken action.

FACT: What David Sandiford is saying contradicts what other witnesses have said! So either he or they were untruthful!

I have a letter from Cllr Keith Whitmore dated 4th April 2002 testifying that he overheard during the local election of 2000 the Labour Agent conversation about the asylum seeker issue in Old Moat.

After I lost the election of 2000, I wanted to make an official complaint about the use of the race card. A meeting was organized at Cllr Simon Ashley’s house. This was attended by Cllr Ray Atkins, Manchester City Liberal Democrats strategy adviser, I and Cllr Peter Rothery. Cllr Peter Rothery is a barrister and at the meeting presented his legal opinion about the likely success of legal action. He said that the comments overheard by Keith Whitmore were made in a private place (a council office) so the ruling of the relevant Act does not apply. I did not agree as my reading of the total words of the Act seemed to imply that if the victim regards it as offensive then the privacy fact does not apply. However, the majority view was that nothing could be done.

To the best of my knowledge, this was all the assistance that the Lib Dem Manchester leadership offered me on this subject.

They could have done more but choose not to in an abdication of responsibility and for other reasons that came to light in events that followed.

Keith Whitmore is a senior member of the Manchester Liberal Democrats and in my view, v there is more that he could have done to help.


In the next episode: The role of cllr John Commons

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Events after the Ash report:

• I learned from Cllr Paul Carter, in an email on 17th August 03, at the time chair of the NW constitution committee, shortly after the Ash report was produced in June/July 03, that the candidates committee of Manchester, chaired by Cllr John Commons, with membership of Cllrs Simon Ashley, John Leech, Alison Firth & Simon Wheale as members was planning a meeting to remove my approval as a candidate without notifying me. However someone told Paul Carter this and he said that he spoke to Cllr Simon Ashley before the meeting and cautioned against precipitous action on this question.

• This started a long chain of events to stop me standing in old moat. This ended in April 13th 04 with the final decision. I refused to meet with the committee because I had no legal representation and its constitution was doubtful. My reservations re the constitution included:

• No criteria for membership revocation
• No safe guards against unfairness; or ensuring the impartiality and independence of the decision-makers
• No right of appeal;
• Nothing to prevent a perception of bias or conflict of interest;
• No reference to equal opportunities or ethnic minorities
• Allowed the group to revoke membership “if it believes a candidate is no longer an appropriate or eligible person”, without any regard to competing or conflicting interest;

So, following my complaint of unequal treatment to the Manchester Liberal Democrats, the leader, Cllr Ashley and his deputy friend and my opponent in the Withington Constituency hustings Cllr John Leech MP, the equal opportunity spokesperson and supposedly pro women councilor, Cllr Alison Firth, sat in a room in the Town Hall and voted to prevent me from standing in local elections for the Liberal Democrats. And all because I complained of racism and unequal treatment.

In other words, an ethnic minority person in Manchester who complains of unequal treatment and racism and competes on equal footing without the benefit of positive discrimination and patronage, is regarded as not a team player and are banned from standing in elections!

In the next episode, how the regional and national executive approved the decision of the Manchester Liberal Democrats!

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Sorry I have not put up more details but I have been busy with my appeal with the Legal Services Commission. They have refused so far to fund my application for legal aid as they claim there is no public interest and no significant benefit to myself. This is only part of a catalogue of mistakes

The fact that my reputation has been destroyed in the press making me unemployable as a result seems not to have convinced them.

I currently have no legal representation as my solicitor who has acted pro bono for a long time has a big case and is unable to help.

So if there is a solicitor or barrister out there who wants to help pro bono to see justice done could be please come forward asap.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

When the issue of re-interviewing me for approval first arose, straight after the publication of the Ash report, I was invited by the candidates committee, chaired by John Commons with membership of Simon Ashley, John Leech, Alison Firth and Simon Wheale. I asked for more details about the legitimacy, membership and the constitution of this committee.

I was sent a copy of the constitution and as it was undemocratic and dictatorial giving supreme and un-accountable power to the members of this committee (there is not even an appeal against the decision) I was reluctant to attend the interview.

The membership contained members I was in direct competition with, such as John Leech and Simon Wheale and both of these councillors, with Alison Firth, were quoted by David Kierman as people who thought my race is a liability that I was finished politically and that I should move on to leave the way clear for a white man. Simon Ashley is a close friend and supporter of John Leech and so was John Commons.

It is hardly fair for these people to sit in judgement on my suitability to continue as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats.

As I was not given sufficient assurance, I refused to attend on the ground that I would be �lamb to the slaughter� and I doubted that I would get a fair hearing.

As a result the Leader Simon Ashley wrote me a letter on 15th December 2003:

�It was the unanimous view of the Candidates Committee that you should be taken off our Approved Candidates list as you had declined to meet with a panel of Committee members to discuss our concerns, particularly about working with and treating other with respect.

�This means that as it currently stands, you are not allowed to be a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Manchester. In order to be considered, you will need to reapply, attend a training day and be subject to an interview. It is unlikely that you will be given approval to stand for the Liberal Democrats in Manchester unless the Candidates Committee see, over a sustained period, a change in attitude and behaviour towards your colleagues and fellow party members�.


I made a complaint to the region and its chair, cllr Dave Smithson. They set up a regional investigation into this decision (the Somjee Report) which involved a hearing in Chester on Saturday 17th January 2004 was extremely critical of the removal procedure. It highlighted several procedural irregularities as follows:

1. Yasmin ZalzalaS was not informed of the date of the meeting when the final decision was made;

2. The decision was made only weeks after my allegations of racism and sexism were investigated and the Ash report released � strongly hinting towards victimisation;

3. Six of the nine decision makers members had a conflict of interest. This gave rise to a real risk of bias; This is also incompatible with the human rights act.

4. Particular criticism was made of the constitution including:

(a) There were no criteria for membership revocation and no safe guards against unfairness; or alternative procedures if the impartiality of committee members was open to doubt;

(b) There was no right of appeal;

(c) No reference to equal opportunities; or ethnic minorities;

(d) The Rules allowed the committee to revoke approval �if it believes a candidate is no longer an appropriate or eligible person�, without regard to conflicting interest;

5. There is nothing in the de-selection procedure to prevent a perception of bias or conflict of interest in any form;

6. Even though legal representation was allowed there was a distinct lack of legal funding for the internal appeal process; and

7. There were no safe guards for procedural fairness or for ensuring the impartiality and independence of the decision-makers.

The report goes then to conclude that given all the above, the decision to remove my approval was not harsh!

It made the following recommendations:

1. The national party needs to take on board the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 and prepare appropriate guidelines for local parties.

2. Local parties should devise proper and clear criteria for the removal of candidates from the Approved lists.

3. It is important that the Candidates Committee is representative of the party as a whole; especially in respect of local constituency parties, gender, ethnicity, disability; and should include a balance between councillors and other members.

4. The national party should urgently address issues of racial discrimination. Candidate approval should be on merit alone.

5. We recognise that the inappropriate use of language may be offensive and the Party should consider ways in which this can be avoided.


This report was presented to the regional executive on 31st January 2004 chaired by Dave Smithson. Andrew Stunnell, Chris Davies and several other councillors such as Brendon Jones and Neil Trafford are members. I attended this meeting and read the report for the first time when I was given a copy at the meeting.

Strangely nobody from the Manchester Liberal Democrats candidates committee was present to receive the report! It seems to me that this could indicate that they had prior knowledge of what had happened.

A letter was sent by Dave Smithson to myself dated January 2004 which enclosed the motion passed by the regional executive.

1. Receive the report
2. Endorse the recommendations
3. To forward to the Manchester City Party and all other interested parties a coy of the report and invite them to inform the Regional Executive of the action they porpose to take bearing in mind the need to safeguard the rights of the individual and the Party.

Dave Smithson then informed us that the decision to remove my approval is to be upheld.

So then I referred the matter to the National Party in Cowley Street.

My case was heard on 30th March 2004 by the English appeals panel, chaired by Peter Lee, national chair of appeals with barrister Chris Willmore and Valerie Silbiger as members. Paul Rustak was in attendance.

This committee heard presentation from myself and Simon Ashley. Simon Ashley left soon after he gave evidence and did not stay to hear the decision of the panel.

The decision, when it came, took no account of the irregularities of the constitution of the Manchester City Liberal Democrats candidates committee under which I was disapproved nor of the obvious conflict of interest that a members of the committee such as John Leech, had in seeing me disapproved.

Their judgement after deliberations on the same day says:

�The procedure adopted does not comply with current best practice in the party, although the Panel is satisfied it is being reviewed to ensure such compliance�.

�Whilst we have no doubt that a lot of things have happened which have led Yasmin Zalzala to believe she has been discriminated against, we consider that the Candidate Committee took appropriate steps to recognise her position by appointing a panel of three people who had not previously been involved with Yasmin Zalzala in any way to conduct the interview and giving them authority to make a decision.

�We have no power to dispense with that approval requirement�

That means they acknowledge the faults in the system but they are happy to leave me at its mercy. What happened subsequently is exactly what I thought would happen. i.e. The smaller committee chaired by barrister Peter Rothery with Elaine Boys and Pam Davis met me. We met on 13th April 2004

They asked questions that are not on the original candidate approval form. Eg, the (false) claim by David Sandiford that I had called him a racist and sexist! What chance did I have if the panel was going to speak about unproven malicious accusation as facts!

One hour after the meeting with the Peter Rothery panel, I was told that they will uphold the disapproval. The reasons were sent on 22nd of April 2004 after Peter Rothery trawled through documents and statements to justify the decision �that we can no longer work with you�.

As a result of the Rothery decision, I was prevented me from standing as a candidate in the local elections in April 2004. This was my best chance of winning according to all experts as it was an all out elections.

The bias in the constitution and this process was highlighted by the panel of independent barristers who evaluated my papers. They said:

�There were no criteria for membership revocation;
�There were no safe guards against unfairness.
It should be noted that Peter Rothery is a barrister with a leading chambers in Manchester and at the time was the Manchester City Councilor for the Liberal Democrats.

It should also be noted that the McPherson/Lawrence enquiry report, recommended that racism should be a matter to be decided by the victim and not outsiders. No one throughout this process took account of this.


Next episode: What happened next

Yasmin Zalzala said...

When the issue of re-interviewing me for approval first arose, straight after the publication of the Ash report, I was invited by the candidates committee, chaired by John Commons with membership of Simon Ashley, John Leech, Alison Firth and Simon Wheale. I asked for more details about the legitimacy, membership and the constitution of this committee.

I was sent a copy of the constitution and as it was undemocratic and dictatorial giving supreme and un-accountable power to the members of this committee (there is not even an appeal against the decision) I was reluctant to attend the interview.

The membership contained members I was in direct competition with, such as John Leech and Simon Wheale and both of these councillors, with Alison Firth, were quoted by David Kierman as people who thought my race is a liability that I was finished politically and that I should move on to leave the way clear for a white man. Simon Ashley is a close friend and supporter of John Leech and so was John Commons.

It is hardly fair for these people to sit in judgement on my suitability to continue as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats.

As I was not given sufficient assurance, I refused to attend on the ground that I would be ‘lamb to the slaughter’ and I doubted that I would get a fair hearing.

As a result the Leader Simon Ashley wrote me a letter on 15th December 2003:

“It was the unanimous view of the Candidates Committee that you should be taken off our Approved Candidates list as you had declined to meet with a panel of Committee members to discuss our concerns, particularly about working with and treating other with respect.

“This means that as it currently stands, you are not allowed to be a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Manchester. In order to be considered, you will need to reapply, attend a training day and be subject to an interview. It is unlikely that you will be given approval to stand for the Liberal Democrats in Manchester unless the Candidates Committee see, over a sustained period, a change in attitude and behaviour towards your colleagues and fellow party members”.


I made a complaint to the region and its chair, cllr Dave Smithson. They set up a regional investigation into this decision (the Somjee Report) which involved a hearing in Chester on Saturday 17th January 2004 was extremely critical of the removal procedure. It highlighted several procedural irregularities as follows:

1. Yasmin ZalzalaS was not informed of the date of the meeting when the final decision was made;

2. The decision was made only weeks after my allegations of racism and sexism were investigated and the Ash report released – strongly hinting towards victimisation;

3. Six of the nine decision makers members had a conflict of interest. This gave rise to a real risk of bias; This is also incompatible with the human rights act.

4. Particular criticism was made of the constitution including:

(a) There were no criteria for membership revocation and no safe guards against unfairness; or alternative procedures if the impartiality of committee members was open to doubt;

(b) There was no right of appeal;

(c) No reference to equal opportunities; or ethnic minorities;

(d) The Rules allowed the committee to revoke approval “if it believes a candidate is no longer an appropriate or eligible person”, without regard to conflicting interest;

5. There is nothing in the de-selection procedure to prevent a perception of bias or conflict of interest in any form;

6. Even though legal representation was allowed there was a distinct lack of legal funding for the internal appeal process; and

7. There were no safe guards for procedural fairness or for ensuring the impartiality and independence of the decision-makers.

The report goes then to conclude that given all the above, the decision to remove my approval was not harsh!

It made the following recommendations:

1. The national party needs to take on board the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 and prepare appropriate guidelines for local parties.

2. Local parties should devise proper and clear criteria for the removal of candidates from the Approved lists.

3. It is important that the Candidates Committee is representative of the party as a whole; especially in respect of local constituency parties, gender, ethnicity, disability; and should include a balance between councillors and other members.

4. The national party should urgently address issues of racial discrimination. Candidate approval should be on merit alone.

5. We recognise that the inappropriate use of language may be offensive and the Party should consider ways in which this can be avoided.


This report was presented to the regional executive on 31st January 2004 chaired by Dave Smithson. Andrew Stunnell, Chris Davies and several other councillors such as Brendon Jones and Neil Trafford are members. I attended this meeting and read the report for the first time when I was given a copy at the meeting.

Strangely nobody from the Manchester Liberal Democrats candidates committee was present to receive the report! It seems to me that this could indicate that they had prior knowledge of what had happened.

A letter was sent by Dave Smithson to myself dated January 2004 which enclosed the motion passed by the regional executive.

1. Receive the report
2. Endorse the recommendations
3. To forward to the Manchester City Party and all other interested parties a coy of the report and invite them to inform the Regional Executive of the action they porpose to take bearing in mind the need to safeguard the rights of the individual and the Party.

Dave Smithson then informed us that the decision to remove my approval is to be upheld.

So then I referred the matter to the National Party in Cowley Street.

My case was heard on 30th March 2004 by the English appeals panel, chaired by Peter Lee, national chair of appeals with barrister Chris Willmore and Valerie Silbiger as members. Paul Rustak was in attendance.

This committee heard presentation from myself and Simon Ashley. Simon Ashley left soon after he gave evidence and did not stay to hear the decision of the panel.

The decision, when it came, took no account of the irregularities of the constitution of the Manchester City Liberal Democrats candidates committee under which I was disapproved nor of the obvious conflict of interest that a members of the committee such as John Leech, had in seeing me disapproved.

Their judgement after deliberations on the same day says:

“The procedure adopted does not comply with current best practice in the party, although the Panel is satisfied it is being reviewed to ensure such compliance”.

“Whilst we have no doubt that a lot of things have happened which have led Yasmin Zalzala to believe she has been discriminated against, we consider that the Candidate Committee took appropriate steps to recognise her position by appointing a panel of three people who had not previously been involved with Yasmin Zalzala in any way to conduct the interview and giving them authority to make a decision.

“We have no power to dispense with that approval requirement”

That means they acknowledge the faults in the system but they are happy to leave me at its mercy. What happened subsequently is exactly what I thought would happen. i.e. The smaller committee chaired by barrister Peter Rothery with Elaine Boys and Pam Davis met me. We met on 13th April 2004

They asked questions that are not on the original candidate approval form. Eg, the (false) claim by David Sandiford that I had called him a racist and sexist! What chance did I have if the panel was going to speak about unproven malicious accusation as facts!

One hour after the meeting with the Peter Rothery panel, I was told that they will uphold the disapproval. The reasons were sent on 22nd of April 2004 after Peter Rothery trawled through documents and statements to justify the decision ‘that we can no longer work with you’.

As a result of the Rothery decision, I was prevented me from standing as a candidate in the local elections in April 2004. This was my best chance of winning according to all experts as it was an all out elections.

The bias in the constitution and this process was highlighted by the panel of independent barristers who evaluated my papers. They said:

“There were no criteria for membership revocation;
“There were no safe guards against unfairness.
It should be noted that Peter Rothery is a barrister with a leading chambers in Manchester and at the time was the Manchester City Councilor for the Liberal Democrats.

It should also be noted that the McPherson/Lawrence enquiry report, recommended that racism should be a matter to be decided by the victim and not outsiders. No one throughout this process took account of this.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

I hope that everyone has read the letter in the reporter this week.

This is in response to the article in last weeks paper that I had reached the end with getting legal aid for my discrimination case.

I fear joyful gloating by several parties is pre-mature.

The facts were confused in the article. The fight is not lost yet as my letter explains.

For information I re-print it on this website:
Dear Sir

Thank you for highlighting the story of my legal fight to get justice in my discrimination case against the Liberal Democrats. I am sorry however that your reporter failed to bring out the important facts in this development. The main facts are these:

� The Legal Services Commission, the agency responsible for managing legal aid, has made an unbelievable catalogue of mistakes in my case. The basic most elementary facts were misrepresented. This goes all the way up to letters coming from the office of and signed by the agency�s Chairman.

� If they had done this to me, they are bound to have done this to other applicants for legal aid in hoping for justice.

� The minister responsible for this agency is Jack Straw. I wrote to him bringing the situation to his attention. Instead of taking responsibility, he replied that the Legal Services Commission is an independent agency and he cannot interfere.

� He also suggested that if I cannot afford a solicitor, I could consider acting as my own counsel!

� This leaves very important question unanswered: What about justice for me and others in the meantime? And what about value for money for the taxpayer who is footing the bill for this agency?

These are the important points that your reporter, regretfully missed. The article would have been much richer and would have made far more interesting reading.

In the meantime, your readers may care to visit my blog, link below, where I am putting up details of how the discrimination started and how the Liberal Democrats allowed ethnic cleansing of candidates to happen with the blessing and approval of the Party�s constitution and appeal process.

I am using the website as I have no time to start my own website. I am an independent campaigner advocating communities and clean politics.


Dr Yasmin Zalzala
Fallowfield
Manchester

y zalzala said...

testing

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Hope you did not think I had gone away!

Simply busy writing up my submission to the appeal of the Legal Services Commission.

Also trying to find a job!

If there is a lawyer out there who would like to help me, please show yourself!

Yasmin Zalzala said...

A lot has been made of the fact that Commission for Racial Equality did not take my case on.

The argument goes that if my case was strong then they would have taken it on.

Yet the reality is that the CRE does not take any cases but they are referred instead to the Race Equality Councils which they support with huge grants.

I consulted one of these REC and it turned out they give negligent incompetent advise.

Here is a desecription of my experience.
Dealing with Race Equality Council was a difficult and process. Outlined below are the series of mistakes that was made.

When I first asked for their help, I was booked an appointment a month in advance
I met the junior legal officer. He took notes but could take no action as he had to speak to the senior legal officer, who was absent that day as he had been mugged the day before.

I received a phone call weeks later from the senior officer. He said he had reviewed the papers and concluded that this is �institutional racism�. The authority to deal with this was the Commission for Racial Equality as they have the global legal power to investigate organizations. I thanked him and said I would go back to the CRE.

Up until now, no one had told me about the RA65 questionnaire. This is a legal document to establish the facts in discrimination cases!

I went back to the CRE and many letters and phone calls later all I got was empty promises.

I then received a phone call from the regional case worker for the northern and midland area for the CRE. This was on 30th March 2004. I explained the catalogue of mistakes. He sounded genuinely sorry and apologized for what happened.

He informed me about the RA65 Questionnaire and advised that I should return to the Race Equality Council who will help me prepare this document.

I contacted the REC and an appointment was made in the Manchester CRE Office.

I went to the appointment, paid the car park in central Manchester yet discovered from the reception of the Manchester CRE office that the appointment had been cancelled. Yet nobody from REC or CRE had told me before I set off.

I phoned to the senior legal officer from the CRE office. He said that the officer who was going to see me was sick and there was no one to replace him. He arranged another appointment, two weeks later with himself at the Manchester Office.

I met with him and gave him a lot of documents which he photocopied. He then asked for more details etc. I have notes of that meeting.

A difficult few weeks followed during which I had great difficulty getting answers or information from the REC Office.

It was weeks later, after many difficult and humiliating conversations with, including among others, the Liberal Democrats who were laughing at me, I discovered that the REC officers had made the following errors (apart from the above).

1. The wrong section of the Race Relation Act was quoted in the letter to the Liberal Democrats.

2. The REC did not tell me that the respondent has 8 weeks in which to respond to the RA65 Questionnaire. I was led to believe it was two weeks. When no response was received, I was in panic as to what to do.

3. The Questionnaire was not complete. A vital section was missing. I discovered this when my papers were being reviewed by the CRE�s regional officer.

4. I was left to serve the RA65 Questionnaire by myself. I.e I completed the statement, the forms to the best of my ability and posted them.

5. The REC website says they makes representation at the County Court. That what I was led to believe at meeting with senior legal officer. Yet the letter from director says they do not make legal representations.


6. When I made a complaint in line with the REC�s complaint policy, The Director withdrew the service and wrote to the Liberal Democrats BEFORE

� Writing to me, and
� dealing with the points of my complaint and not in line with the stated complains policy


24th September 2004 Dr Zalzala letter to TREC outlining difficulty.

25th September 2004 TREC letter to Liberal Democrats solicitors notifying they no longer acting for Yasmin Zalzala

29th September 2004 TREC Letter to Yasmin Zalzala notifying withdrawal of service.

The REC Director is entitled to his opinion, but this action disadvantaged me and compromised my standing with the Liberal Democrats who incidentally had a big legal firm (Nicholson Graham & Jones, Cannot Street, London) acting for them.

The Director, to justify the decision to withdrew the service, made several in-accurate and untruthful claims. EG he claims that my file is reviewed every 14 days. Yet what I was told and what happened, is every 6 weeks if at all!

He claim that my statement had to be reviewed by their staff every time I made changes. This is not true. They only went through the first draft and then I was left on my own.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Below is a description of the bad service that is offered by the Race Equality Council that are funded by the home office and the CRE.
Dealing with Race Equality Council was a difficult and process. Outlined below are the series of mistakes that was made.

When I first asked for their help, I was booked an appointment a month in advance
I met the junior legal officer. He took notes but could take no action as he had to speak to the senior legal officer, who was absent that day as he had been mugged the day before.

I received a phone call weeks later from the senior officer. He said he had reviewed the papers and concluded that this is ‘institutional racism’. The authority to deal with this was the Commission for Racial Equality as they have the global legal power to investigate organizations. I thanked him and said I would go back to the CRE.

Up until now, no one had told me about the RA65 questionnaire. This is a legal document to establish the facts in discrimination cases!

I went back to the CRE and many letters and phone calls later all I got was empty promises.

I then received a phone call from the regional case worker for the northern and midland area for the CRE. This was on 30th March 2004. I explained the catalogue of mistakes. He sounded genuinely sorry and apologized for what happened.

He informed me about the RA65 Questionnaire and advised that I should return to the Race Equality Council who will help me prepare this document.

I contacted the REC and an appointment was made in the Manchester CRE Office.

I went to the appointment, paid the car park in central Manchester yet discovered from the reception of the Manchester CRE office that the appointment had been cancelled. Yet nobody from REC or CRE had told me before I set off.

I phoned to the senior legal officer from the CRE office. He said that the officer who was going to see me was sick and there was no one to replace him. He arranged another appointment, two weeks later with himself at the Manchester Office.

I met with him and gave him a lot of documents which he photocopied. He then asked for more details etc. I have notes of that meeting.

A difficult few weeks followed during which I had great difficulty getting answers or information from the REC Office.

It was weeks later, after many difficult and humiliating conversations with, including among others, the Liberal Democrats who were laughing at me, I discovered that the REC officers had made the following errors (apart from the above).

1. The wrong section of the Race Relation Act was quoted in the letter to the Liberal Democrats.

2. The REC did not tell me that the respondent has 8 weeks in which to respond to the RA65 Questionnaire. I was led to believe it was two weeks. When no response was received, I was in panic as to what to do.

3. The Questionnaire was not complete. A vital section was missing. I discovered this when my papers were being reviewed by the CRE’s regional officer.

4. I was left to serve the RA65 Questionnaire by myself. I.e I completed the statement, the forms to the best of my ability and posted them.

5. The REC website says they makes representation at the County Court. That what I was led to believe at meeting with senior legal officer. Yet the letter from director says they do not make legal representations.


6. When I made a complaint in line with the REC’s complaint policy, The Director withdrew the service and wrote to the Liberal Democrats BEFORE

• Writing to me, and
• dealing with the points of my complaint and not in line with the stated complains policy


24th September 2004 Dr Zalzala letter to TREC outlining difficulty.

25th September 2004 TREC letter to Liberal Democrats solicitors notifying they no longer acting for Yasmin Zalzala

29th September 2004 TREC Letter to Yasmin Zalzala notifying withdrawal of service.

The REC Director is entitled to his opinion, but this action disadvantaged me and compromised my standing with the Liberal Democrats who incidentally had a big legal firm (Nicholson Graham & Jones, Cannot Street, London) acting for them.

The Director, to justify the decision to withdrew the service, made several in-accurate and untruthful claims. EG he claims that my file is reviewed every 14 days. Yet what I was told and what happened, is every 6 weeks if at all!

He claim that my statement had to be reviewed by their staff every time I made changes. This is not true. They only went through the first draft and then I was left on my own.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Next Stage

August 2003 The secretary of the northwest regional executive visits Yasmin Zalzala at home and is told of the shortcomings of the Ash investigation including that the negative claims against Dr Zalzala were never investigated e.g. David Sandiford calling Dr Zalzala a �racist and sexist� at 19th October Constituency meeting.

The secretary responded a few days later with a response from David Sandiford in which he untruthfully claims: �Yasmin Zalzala says that I called her a sexist and racist during an Exec meeting. I did not do so. I complained about HER calling me a racist and sexist at the previous City Party meeting and walking out before she could reply�.

So David Sandiford was untruthful to the regional secretary as well as the regional investigation headed by cllr Mike Ash with MEP Saj Karim.

24th October 2003. Visit from Peter Rothery. Proposed that if I withdrew the accusation then the matter will be closed and I could concentrate on my campaigning for the ward. He said �it would be a pity if you were not to win next time as a clever person like you is badly needed on the council�.

Dr Zalzala writes handwritten note withdrawing the accusation of racist and sexist action.

5th November 2003 email from Cllr David Sandiford accepting apology. But he continues: �Much more seriously you have been alleging that I told untruths to the Ash committee � the equivalent of perjuring myself to the committee. Unless and until you withdrew that allegation, I am afraid that I am not prepared to work with you as a councilor���..�.

(This has been demonstrated to have happened in earlier postings on this blog where I showed in detail, how senior persons like David Sandiford, John Leech and David Sandiford made untruthful statements to the Ash Committee).

8th November 2003 email in which a U-turn is made with a complaint that I am accusing David Sandiford of saying untruthful things to the Ash Committee.

But that was the truth! So whatever I do I am damned by the Manchester Liberal Democrats yet people who are untruthful are hailed as heroes!

Yasmin Zalzala said...

testing

Yasmin Zalzala said...

22nd Oct 2007

Dear Cllr John Leech MP

I read with interest your statement at the end of your letter in last week’s reporter that ‘I will not apologise for standing up for Christie Hospital during the review of services in the 2005 General Election Campaign. When 60 Doctors at the Christie break a story that the hospital is under threat I believe it is the duty of the local representative to act’.

I have tried to remain neutral on this subject and at the time thought, like many others, there is no smoke without fire, but I have been bothered that no-one (apart from you) seems to have seen or heard anything from these 60 Christie Doctors. I have made numerous attempts, since the General Election, to contact these doctors directly and via the management board but have been unsuccessful.

It would be useful if these doctors could come forward or alternatively may be you could tell us who they are and where they exist so that we can speak to them and be equally informed on the so called threat to Christie Hospital.

Thank you in anticipation

Dr Yasmin Zalzala
Campaign for clean politics

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 23:39:30 +0100 (BST)
From: "yasmin zalzala"
Subject: RE: Discrimination and fighting thereof
To: "OATEN, Mark"
CC: "Sandra Dunk", "Charles K" "paul peter lee"

Mark, I spoke with …………………. today. I must say for a man who is put in charge of handling disputes, he is very interesting.

He was derisive about "my solicitor" as he calls them. I have given you he details ref the difficulty I have had with pursuing my race discrimination case. I know that the CRE and the officers they fund are not top notch as they say. However I do not have the pockets deep enough to fund the case indenpendently. I would have expected the party to understand and be sympathetic and committeed to insuring fair process.

Instead Peter Lee seems to have taken advantage of the fact and sat to hear an appeal that dismissed the appeal deciison by Cec Tallack and decided that the white man should be the candidate after all! They did not even have the courtesy to inform me and did not send me the docs that were submitted by my adversaries. Cowley St seem to have been judge and jury all by themselves.

The regional chair has told the press today that J Leech is to be the PPC! The member who told me that my race is a liability and I should move on to leave the way clear for John Leech and that white council estates will not vote for a non white person, is still a member in charge of membership secretary. He quoted John Leech as one of the people agreeing with his theory!

How can you be trusted as a party (and parliamentarians) if you treat the members who complain of racisim and sexism in this patronsing manner?

Is there no dignity or integrity left? I cannot help thinking this would never have happened had Paddy still been leader.

Yasmin Zalzala

"OATEN, Mark" OatenM@wrote:
very helpful and thank you fore the detail - I will pass to my special advisor to see what we can do

mark
-----Original Message-----
From: yasmin zalzala [mailto:]
Sent: 03 August 2004 20:21
To: OATEN, Mark
Subject: Re: Discrimination and fighting thereof
The CRE has had a crisis and I gather their budget was cut drastically as a result. Now only two officers man the manchester office and one of them is responsible for the entire country from Birmingham to Scotland.
The first delay occured because when the one officer reviewed my case, she decided that I had to exhaust the internal party complaint procedure. This did not happen until the 13th of April the date of the final upholding of the disapproval by Manchester liberal democrats. So they started the countdown from then, adding various measures that allowed for the extension of the six months deadline for legal proceedings.
The Manchester office does not handle applications; they sub-contract this to the ……….Racial Equality council. By the time I got an appointment (a month ahead) and all other delays of writing things up etc, I was advised that my case involves institutional racisim and only the CRE has powers to take this further. So I went back to the CRE in London (Manchester said it is up to London). After several emails, letters faxes and phone calls, I got nothing. So I finally wrote and said that I will be writing to the Home Secretary and tell him of their dreadful admin. This got attention and when I next rung the secretary said she had got my letter and she will bring it to the relevant person. This brought a negative response on the grounds that they have not sufficient funding.
So it was back to the REC. However this time, they had no excuse but to proceed with my case. However I still had to go back to the Manchester CRE and make a fuss over the lack of response. So the manager rung me and I explained the situation and he was very apologetic. Things improved since then.
However, this does not apply to the post office or muggings (the legal officer got mugged and was off for 3 weeks!) holidays or my moral. When I started to write my case statement, it was amazing to read all the unkindness and hurtful things that the liberal democrats in manchester did to me. I would write 2-3 pages and have to stop for several days to recover. I had to search my conscience if I wanted to continue and whether it was right to continue. So it took time to complete the statement. I have done it however and I am not changing it unless they ask me to.

Hope this answers your question. Please let me know if you want more details. Regards Yasmin Zalzala

"
OATEN, Mark" OatenM wrote:
Yasmin
I was not aware of underfunding. Could you give me more details?
Mark Oaten MP

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Re: Data requested by Cllr P Carter
From: Bruce Hubbard (ia28)
You may not know this sender. Mark as safe | Mark as unsafe
Sent:07 January 2003 01:09:51
To: Yasmin Zalzala





Dear Yasmin,Having phoned my daughter in Leeds, I am afraid I have some bad news. She ismore computer literate than me - not difficult! - and realised that, whenshe gained my old computer, I had not cleaned away all the e-mails. Shedecided not to open any, in case she should not, but wiped them all off herhard disc.As a result, I am afriad that the only way of retrieving your e-mail wouldbe if you still have it in your outbox.Sorry, but I am glad that Catrin had the common sense!Bruce----- Original Message -----From: "Yasmin Zalzala" To: ia28@Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 11:09 PMSubject: Re: Data requested by Cllr P Carter Bruce, You are kind. Thank you. Yasmin >From: "Bruce Hubbard" To: "Yasmin Zalzala" <>>Subject: Re: Data requested by Cllr P Carter>Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 20:06:15 -0000>>Dear Yasmin,>The reason for my difficulty is that the old computer is with my daughter>in>Leeds. She is not at all sure that she has not wiped it!>Exploration continues!>Bruce>----- Original Message ----->From: "Yasmin Zalzala" >To: Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 5:05 PM>Subject: Re: Data requested by Cllr Carter Thanks Bruce, that would be really helpful. As you know I am trying to>rovide the info to the regional exec asap. I have had difficulty with my>computer too!>>Yasmin>>>>>> >From: "Bruce Hubbard" To: "Yasmin Zalzala" >Subject: Re: Data requested by Cllr P Carter> >Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 23:13:55 -0000> >> >Dear Yasmin,> >In the last 8 months, I have changed my computer. Trying to locate your> >e-mail on the old one may take some time!> >Bruce> >----- Original Message -----> >From: "Yasmin Zalzala" >To: >Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2003 4:47 PM> >Subject: Re: Data requested by Cllr P Carter> >> >> >> >Bruce, I wonder if I could ask you to forward me some material that I>need> >so I can answer the request made by Cllr Carter.> >> >the email that I sent you when I first had the visit by D Kierman with>the> >suggestion that I move on> >> >the attachment that I sent you containing 4 pages of description to my> >complaint.> >> >If you would forward me these, I can start working on the document>required> >by Cllr Carter.> >> >Thank you in anticipation> >> >> >> >> >> > >From: "Bruce Hubbard" >To: "Yasmin Zalzala" , "Paul Carter"> > > "Dave" > > >> >Subject: Re: Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 16:37:39 -0000> > >> > >Dear Yasmin,> > >Thank you for your e-mail.> > >You raise a number of points.> > >On the first, whilst your suggestion is eminently sensible, as we are> > >currently established, it is not possible to run the two together. Any> > >appeal against a PPC selection has to be dealt with separately from any> > >other actions. I know that the two are similar, but we have to operate> > >under> > >the existing rules.> > >Secondly, I do have your e-mail of some time ago. However, I never> >received> > >from you a formal complaint resulting from it, and in any case, such a> > >complaint would have to be dealt with by the Regional Chair. As you>well> > >know, Dave Smithson is well prepared to deal with such matters.> > >> > >Although it is not possible yet to realease names of the Euro>shortlisted> > >candidates, I believe that our Region will have more candidates from an> > >ethnic background than any other Region. I think that says something> >about> > >the attitude of the officers and members within our Region.> > >> > >Finally, with regard to your PPC appeal, I have yet to receive from you> > >corroberating evidence from members to back up your allegations. We>must> > >set> > >a deadline for this, and the hustings were already receeding into the> > >memory, so I intend to make my decision on Tuesday of this coming week.> > >Please let me have, in either writing or e-mail) such evidence in>support> > >of> > >your appeal, for without it, any appeal would not make it to court.> > >> > >Yours,> > >> > >Bruce> > >----- Original Message -----> > >From: "Yasmin Zalzala" > >To:; <> > >Cc: <; <>Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 3:27 PM> > >> > >> > >> > >> > >Dear All> > >> > >I am very pleased to note that the regional executive is finally> > >formulating> > >a strategy to deal with my complaints. I will co-operate in every way>I> > >can.> > >> > >I wonder if I could make a helpful suggestion. The appeal that is>being> > >considered by Bruce H deals broadly with similar issues. Would it not>be> > >sensible for a 3 person panel to consider that appeal as well?> > >> > >One of my complaints against the regional exec is that they took no> >action> > >when the chair of Withington Constituency visited me with the news that> >my> > >race is a liability and therefore I should move on to another> >constituency> > >to leave the way clear for John Leech. At the time, I emailed Bruce as>a> > >representative of the regional exec however (to my knowledge) no action> >was> > >taken. I believe that had the regional exec acted with a strong>message> > >against the theory that the race of minority communities is a liability> >at> > >elections and prevents winning, then the hustings would have been much> > >fairer and may not have resulted in a complaint.> > >> > >I wonder what you think.> > >> > >Thank you all for your help. The issues that I raise with my complaint> >are> > >of a sensitive and very serious nature. Many managers shy away from>such> >a> > >´can of worms´ as no one wants to face the consequences. I hope that>we> > >will have the moral courage to face the challenge head on. Otherwise>we> > >will never have a fair representation of the community in public life>and> > >it> > >will continue to be dominated by white male faces.> > >> > >I am determined to take this process to whatever means necessary to get> > >justice. I hope that it will be through the Party.> > >> > >Yours sincerely> > >> > > >> > >> > >> > >> > >_________________________________________________________________> > >The new MSN 8: smart spam protection and 2 months FREE*> > >http://join.msn.com/?page=features/junkmail> >> >> >_________________________________________________________________> >The new MSN 8: smart spam protection and 2 months FREE*> >http://join.msn.com/?page=features/junkmail

Yasmin Zalzala said...

The day after the hustings for the Withington Constituency between me and John Leech, I went to visit dear jewish friends of mine.

During the hustings you see, there was such hatred and venom from some in the audience.

One the Didsbury councilors was sitting on the front row with her back to me.

The second was crouching with his wife behind the people in front of them in the second row.

The third was pretending to be fast asleep.

Some members were looking at the side wall to avoid looking at me.

The chairman, a member of the didsbury ward, was holding his pen and throwing it on the formica table again and again making a lot of noise.

In the meantime, the other candidates were in the back at full flow at the top of their voices.

Even if they did not intend to vote for me, there was no reason for this hostility.

But their minds have been so poisened against me that some people apparently could not bear to look at me.

That was racism. My jewish friends explained that it was not personal. It was an evil inside others and I should not let it get to me.

Yasmin Zalzala said...

As I said before, David Kierman was the chairman who told me my race is a liability. He continued as chair of the constituency with officers Cllr Dr David Sandiford and Cllr Dr Graham Shaw.

He was replaced as chair nearly 2 years later after he tried to interfere in another hustings in the consitutuency!

He was replaced by Caroline Bennett

Below is an email exchange with her.

RE: FW: Disappointment!
From: Bennett Caroline (QC8) Stockport HA ()
You may not know this sender. Mark as safe | Mark as unsafe
Sent:
04 March 2004 09:56:04
To:
'Yasmin Zalzala' (yasminzalzala); 'chrishe77


As I am at a loss as to know what you are talking about I cannot explain.
If you are referring to our telephone conversation where I described OM as
predominantly white, working class and natural labour voters, that is a
statement of fact, not a personal comment about you or John. If you choose
to see it as that, you are entitled to your opinion, but as previously
stated you are wrong.
Do not bother to reply. This is the last e-mail I will send on the subject.
I will also have to be very guarded about future conversations with you
Yasmin, I am very disappointed at the way you always mange to personalise
things into some sort of attack on you when none is intended. You are just
an ordinary woman like me I do not treat you differently because of your
ethnicity, in the great scheme of things, neither of us is that important.

Caroline.


-----Original Message-----
From: Yasmin Zalzala [mailto:yasminzalzala]
Sent: 03 March 2004 15:10
To: caroline.bennettuk
Subject: RE: FW: Disappointment!


Please explain.


>From: "Bennett Caroline (QC8) Stockport HA"
><
>To: 'Yasmin Zalzala' < >
>Subject: FW: Disappointment!
>Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 18:37:53 -0000
>
>You are wrong.
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Yasmin Zalzala [mailto:yasminzalzala]
>Sent: 01 March 2004 16:33
>To: caroline.bennetts.uk
>Cc:
>Subject: Disappointment!
>
>
>Caroline
>
>I do not wish to offend, however, I must say I have found it difficult to
>contain my disappointment that a senior person like you could indulge into
>the nonsense that my race is liability and that people on the estates are
>so
>
>prejudiced they would not vote for me but for the party which is why a
>white
>
>person is more likely to win. That what I understood your comment to mean.
>
>Your further comment that a councillor should represent all sections of the
>community is further worrying. Am I correct in assuming that you were
>implying that someone like me will not represent all the community and will
>be mainly for the ethnic people?
>
>Please correct me if I had got it wrong.
>
>
>Yasmin
>
>_________________________________________________________________
>Express yourself with cool new emoticons
>

_________________________________________________________________

Yasmin Zalzala said...

Below is the text of a letter written and sent to cowley street in 2002. It was written independently and its existence acknowledged in the minutes of regional North West Exec of the Liberal Democrats.

Even though it highlights and supports my complaints, nobody at cowley street did anything.



Withington
Manchester M20

15 October 2002

Liberal Democrats
Cowley Street
London


Dear Sir/Madam


Old Moat Ward and Withington Constituency


I shall begin with an apology for this lengthy account of my experiences from before becoming a member to the present day and I apologise if I am expecting too much from a political party now that said, I shall continue.

I have admired Yasmin Zalzala, (a very familiar face in our area) for a number of years for her dedication, hard work and above all, for the results that she has achieved in the ward against powerful opposition. No task is too small or too large. Mid way through last year I called on Yasmin for personal advice and true to her reputation she made time during her busy schedule to deal with my query successfully and within 24 hours.

In return, I offered her my support, I became a member, delivered our Focus in the area and some time before local elections attended a ward meeting to plan strategy and pledge my support in the busy coming weeks. Unfortunately, due to prior arrangements, I was out of Manchester during election week.

On my return, I was unable to contact Yasmin and called David Keirman, Yasmin’s election agent and constituency Chairman. I was devastated; Yasmin had failed. Our Chairman was not pleased and discussed his feelings and that of ‘others in the party’ who felt the same way; that Yasmin should not stand again, that she should look for another constituency where she may have a better chance as it was clear that OMW was not going to accept a non-white. In his opinion she was a great asset to the Party, was looked upon highly by the main party and if she was ever to make it as an MP, she should give up in Manchester and look for a safe seat elsewhere. He told me he was not in touch with her as she was upset by his suggestion made directly after the count that she should stand down. An untimely comment in my opinion and I said so!! - however, I was assured that he was merely voicing the opinion of others.

During further telephone conversations with David in the weeks following, I was told that Constituency support would move from OMW and concentrate on Burnage. If OMW was to continue, it would have to ‘go it alone’. I continued to defend our campaigner on the grounds that she is dedicated, experienced, hardworking and only weeks earlier was described as ‘parliamentary material’ the reply to which was that perhaps she had been there too long and

Page 2

change was necessary. At this stage I sensed there was unrest and distanced myself. A further
conversation followed a couple of weeks before the ‘Thank You’ evening. I was invited and rang David to say I was pleased that things had got back on track. He was enraged that Yasmin was once again prominent in OMW, she had no authority to do this and informed me how things should be done. I did not know at that this time just what was going on, I was being told things that I needed or wanted to know and considered it imprudent having internal unrest discussed with me and said so. I did not attend the planned function.

I became disillusioned, what was for me an opportunity to help a hardworking-dedicated campaigner reduce the number of Labour councillors in Manchester and gain satisfaction in doing so, became a major headache and I decided that the stress was too much and I must give up all support.

David rang me again, totally unexpected, it was late Sunday evening about mid July when he proceeded to tell me that a Councillor was moving from Barlow Moor Ward, a safe seat and that Yasmin should apply, that he know of one influential person who would certainly seconds her. She would have an excellent opportunity of gaining a majority vote in that Ward. I questioned his motives in discussing this with me, whether I should know of the internal plans of the constituency but could only be certain from the conversation that I should talk to Yasmin and sell this idea to her. I questioned that if Yasmin should take up the offer, go forward in Barlow Moor and was unsuccessful what would become of OMW and her career. I was told that they were others in Old Moat that could be approached to take her place.

I was annoyed and puzzled at receiving this call and reminded him of my earlier e-mail to him in response to his invitation to the July constituency meeting. My e-mail explained that I would not be attending the meeting that I did not wish to continue to be involved with the Ward or the Party and had already returned the carton of undelivered Focus leaflets to Yasmin. I was in the middle of something, I did not know what but it was stress that I neither wished for nor wanted.

I pondered over this and previous conversations for a few days and concluded that Yasmin was to be encouraged to apply for Barlow Moor Ward vacancy and her eventual demise. It was my personal belief that David Kierman and myself were mere messengers, I unwilling one. The more I analysed these series of telephone conversations with David Keirman the more suspicious I became that something underhand was afoot and it included ‘disposing’ of Yasmin.

I am firm believer in democracy and fair play so I approached Yasmin, offered my services in the vacancy as Ward Secretary and agreed to represent her accompanied by Mary Brumell, Members Secretary, at the next constituency meeting. She had planned her leave would be unavailable. The meeting was to be held on 17th August.

The main topic of this meeting at which Cllr David Sandiford and Cllr John Leech were present, revolved around the proposed New Ward Boundaries. Yasmin, in representing our Ward and I were unhappy with these proposals. I enquired why Cllr Sandiford (one of three councillors appointed to negotiate and set up these proposals) had not canvassed OM members prior to or during the drawing up of these proposals and was informed by him that these forms were available on Internet and no one from OMW had opposed it. (OMW is mainly an inner city council estate and I would guess that few have access to such technology

Page 3

and would rely on postal survey. I was told that decisions were made and no further negotiation could take place. Since I felt so strongly that our Ward would lose a large number
of voters from the private property sector, and the proposed area to be lost by OM was that which gave the Ward something more than a labour dominated council estate, I would be sent the form in the post. It was also put to me that I might wish to consider or suggest a name change to Withington West in a bid to ‘upgrade’ from Old Moat. I did not receive the promised form but did take advantage of the Internet version and understand from members that I have spoken to that none were approached.

During the meeting, I asked that my objection and that of the ward (via Yasmin) be recorded in the minutes. I was forced to request this three times before it was accepted. I believed it important to have this minuted in the absence of our campaigner and said so, to which I was asked if Yasmin ‘thought she was entitled to special privileges’. I don’t know what this referred to but replied that I was unable to answer such a question and the remark was withdrawn. I felt intimidated. It was at this meeting that volunteers’ names were taken to go forward for training in preparation for the Selection Committee, my colleague ….. and I volunteered from OMW. ……was accepted and I did not meet the criteria of having been a member for two years and was therefore disqualified. I have since discovered that a volunteer from Chorlton Ward attended training yet my understanding is that he became a member during this summer.

This was the first time that I’d been to a constituency meeting and on leaving my opinion was that a close partnership existed between the two councillors present, a feeling of bitterness toward Yasmin, no interest in the opinions of OM members and little or no interest in the future of OMW.

I was unable to attend the last meeting held on 19 September. David left two messages on my answering machine over the following weekend asking me to call him urgently. I called him on Monday and was informed that a heated debate had taken place during the meeting and that ‘poor David was very upset and he has retired’ referring to Cllr David Sandiford. The OMW was having no more assistance from the constituency and all available help and support would go to Burnage. I asked him to reconsider because if the NWB are accepted the OMW will be reduced to little more that a poor council estate dominated by Labour and would need even more support in the coming years than previous. I was assured this would not be forthcoming whilst Yasmin ‘runs the ward’.

I reminded him that OLW had arranged a Fund Raising Evening in a member’s home and that I would expect our councillors to support this, I was assured they would not. I asked him if main party would be happy to lose a hardworking party member who believes liberal democracy, continues to increase membership and works tirelessly for the less privileged residents in OM. If the main party would be happy to have the members OM isolated within the constituency. If this was the best way to go about reducing the number of Labour Councillors in Manchester? He said he did think so but that it is up to OM members themselves.

I received a cc memo also sent to all the councillors from Cllr J Leech on 24th September informing all that Yasmin had inferred that Cllr D Sandiford was racist and sexist during the meeting of the 19th. In later memo from David Kierman headed ‘Fly in the Ointment’ and went on to say ‘ this is not of my doing, someone is stirring up trouble.’ ‘Not that Yasmin is all innocent, I do not want this to escalate out of control’ and ended by promising to get support for our fundraising.

Page 4

Meeting 10.10.02 Under Ward Reports I raised the question why had not one Councillor acknowledged our invitation to the fund-raising evening especially since they were aware that a respected member couple had given over their home for the evening. This was met with a stony prolonged silence and I repeated my question directly to the Chair. The Chair could offer no explanation, then Cllr. Sandiford said, ‘I will explain candidly to you in private’ and repeated this when I attempted to draw him on this strange statement. No attempt was made by those present to ‘get to the bottom’ of why this needed such a cloak and dagger approach. The meeting was ended at this point without further discussion leaving me to assume that what I was to be told something in private that was obviously known to all others present but could not be spoken of in a constituency meeting where Yasmin Zalzala was present.

To date I have not been approached by Cllr Sandiford or taken into his confidence of nor do I feel that I want to. I do not want to be a ‘messenger’ nor do I want to become involved in anything that cannot be spoken of openly. I do not believe this is the correct procedure. This lends itself to all sorts of innuendos and suspicions and I am already wondering if I am the only one invited to share his confidence, does it come at a ‘price’ and is this an ‘old boys club’ in Manchester?

I would like to know if the practice adopted in this constituency is acceptable or widespread where a councillor’s or a campaigner’s points differ from others and who has the right and the courage to voice such opinions, ends up being ‘sent to Coventry’ for doing so. I want to know how one can be democratic if one must share the same views and flock like sheep in order to avoid being isolated or ostracised. I want to know why a simple question brought up in a meeting must be answered in private. I want to know how my best interests and that of other members and the Party be best served in such a ‘democracy’.

If what I have become privy to, in my short time, is truly descript of Liberal Democrats then I have joined the wrong party and must resign myself to a continued Labour dominated Council. If other members were as ‘informed’ as I, would surely ask the same question and feel as I do. I have spent the last five months trying to fathom how this small group works, what purpose lies behind such bitterness and whether am I being used to undermine the good work and confidence of a campaigner and in turn that of the Party. These five months could have been spent on ward matters.

I shall continue to support Yasmin and attend local meetings. As for the party, I’m not sure, I need assurance that no one person or group within the party can or will be allowed to use their position, power or guile over others to weaken, demoralise, override or dismiss them or their proposals which appears to me to be little short of bullying.


Yours sincerely



Secretary
Old Moat Ward

Yasmin Zalzala said...

I have just noticed the following article on the web.

It seems to me for Cllr John Leech MP to be chairing the north west hustings debate the Liberal Democrats are sending a message that they approve of him and what he and other northwest lib dems have done to me to put him in this position.

So under the leadership of the either of the two Lib Dem leadership candidates, we can expect ethnic cleansing of candidates!

The article from Rochdale News

Rochdale News

North West Liberal Democrats host key leadership debate

The North West of England Liberal Democrats will play host to a key Liberal Democrat Leadership Hustings in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall on Saturday 23 November as ballot papers are starting to land on the doormats of party members across the region.

Leadership contenders Nick Clegg MP and Chris Huhne MP will make their way past the Town Hall statues of famous Liberals including William Gladstone, the only person to be four times Prime Minister, and Free Trade MP John Bright, to speak to North West Liberal Democrat members at 11am.

The Hustings will last until 1pm and are to be chaired by John Leech, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Manchester Withington, who won his seat at the 2005 General Election with a swing of over 15% from the Labour Party.

Chairwoman of the North West of England Liberal Democrats Wirral Councillor Gill Gardiner, who will be welcoming the candidates, said: "We are very proud to play host to the Liberal Democrat Leadership candidates in the North West on such a critical weekend for them, as members are starting to receive their ballot papers. The Liberal Democrats are a genuine 'one member, one vote' party so every member in the North West is invited to our Hustings."

John Leech MP added: "As Liberal Democrats we have doubled our number of MPs and our number of Euro MPs in the North West in recent years and in the May 2007 Local Elections we polled more votes than either Labour or the Tories across 14 Parliamentary seats in the region, which suggests that we will make further gains at the next General Election in the North West.

Both Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg are rising stars in British politics with winning records who can promote a strong Liberal Democrat agenda which will appeal to North West voters disillusioned with an ailing Labour Government and a lightweight Tory opposition without clear policies. I am looking forward to these Hustings."

And the Legal services commission tell me there is no public interest in funding my discrimination case!

Yasmin Zalzala said...

I have just read the article in the evening standard website
and this is the link:

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23422762-details/My+middle-class+fears+about+state+secondaries%2C+by+Clegg/article.do


He (Nick Clegg) told the Evening Standard: "That's the crisis in London. The middle classes are leaving the state sector in droves."

Mr Clegg said this was partly because they think their children will be mixing with children who will not help their child reach their full potential. He said: "I want to educate my children in the state sector but I am not going to start making commitments about decisions that affect my children."

What does the above mean? I understand the above to mean that Nick Clegg does not want his children to mix with the children of less well off parents, or heaven forbid, working class parents and ethnic minorities, children whose first language is not english such as many muslim, migrant and asylum seeker children and so on.

This is an appalling admission from the front runner to the Lib Dem leadership race.

No wonder the Lib Dem hierarchy approved ethnic cleansing and the hustings debate in the northwest is being chaired by none other than john leech, the white man who replace me when I was pushed out of the way.

And the Lib Dem membership up and down the land, the men and women I used to know and be so proud to be part of, are happy with this?

What a farce!

YZalzala said...

I have just noticed that Davie Kierman, the chairman of the constituency who first told me that my race is a liability and that I should move on, was a candidate in the ward of Brooklands in 2007

So he was an approved candidate for the Manchester Liberal Democrats!

yzalzala said...

My complaint following the visit from David Kierman in May 2002 produced no reaction from the national or regional party. It was May 2003 when a regional committee was set up headed by Cllr Mike Ash with a fellow councillor and solicitor now MEP, Sajj Karim as members. Sajj Karim concluded that the inappropriate remarks by David Kierman did “lend themselves to both racial and sexual discrimination”. The following observation was made:

“As an independent panel member I do find it very difficult to see how a person of ethnic minority origin could place anything other than a racial motive on a statement which sets out in basic terms that, after having put so much into a Constituency/ward, that an individual should move on because their race will always prove to a barrier in that particular Constituency/ward. I accept that other characteristics may well also have been called into question but by far the most outstanding must be the reference to one’s race or sex in such circumstances”.

Although the Ash committee claimed that it found no evidence of direct racial discrimination, in relation to Mr Kierman’s comments regarding the need for a white candidate, it stated “we are far from happy about the way the Constituency might have drawn conclusions that this meant there should be another candidate”.

Following the publication of this report, the Manchester City Party Candidates Committee was planning to remove my approval to stand for elections in Manchester without notifying me. A fellow councillor who disapproved of this complained to the region. The head of constitution, cllr Paul Carter, contacted the leader, Simon Ashley to advice against such action. Paul Carter confirmed this in an email on 17th August 2003.

Simon Ashley wrote asking me for a meeting with the candidates committee ‘who have concerns about my conduct’. I was reluctant to meet the MCPCC because I had no confidence in their fair play. The minutes of meetings showed John Leech was a participating member and no account was taken of conflict of interest. I also had grave reservations about the committee’s constitution (more details following). I received no satisfactory assurance.

On 10 December 2003 the Manchester City Party Candidates Committee (“MCPCC”) decided without notifying me of the meeting to remove my name from their list of approved local authority candidates. Simon Ashley wrote on 15th December 2003:

“It was the unanimous view of the Candidates Committee that you should be taken off our Approved Candidates list as you had declined to meet with a panel of Committee members to discuss our concerns, particularly about working with and treating other with respect.

“This means that as it currently stands, you are not allowed to be a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Manchester. In order to be considered, you will need to reapply, attend a training day and be subject to an interview. It is unlikely that you will be given approval to stand for the Liberal Democrats in Manchester unless the Candidates Committee see, over a sustained period, a change in attitude and behaviour towards your colleagues and fellow party members”.

I challenged this decision so the regional executive commissioned the Somjee investigation to consider the procedural fairness of this de-selection. Its report of 27 January 2004 was extremely critical of the removal procedure that had been followed in my case. Those procedural irregularities were as follows:

1. I was not informed of the date of the MCPCC’s meeting on 10 December 2003 when the decision to remove me from the list was made;

2. The decision to consider my removal was made only weeks after my allegations of racism and sexism were investigated and the Ash report released – strongly hinting towards victimisation;

3. Six of the nine MCPCC members had a conflict of interest. I had previously lodged complaints against five and the sixth John Leech was my opponent in the selection process. This gave rise to a real risk of bias;

4. Particular criticism was made of the local party’s constitution including:

(a) There were no criteria for membership revocation;

(b) There were no safe guards against unfairness;

(c) There were no alternative procedures if the impartiality of committee members was open to doubt;

(d) There was no right of appeal;

(e) It contained no reference to equal opportunities; paragraph 3 does not refer to ethnic minorities;

(f) Rule 22 allowed the MCPCC to revoke their approval “if it believes a candidate is no longer an appropriate or eligible person”, without any regard to competing or conflicting interest;

5. There is nothing in the de-selection procedure to prevent a perception of bias or conflict of interest in any form;

6. Even though legal representation was allowed there was a distinct lack of legal funding for the internal appeal process; and

7. There were no safe guards for procedural fairness or for ensuring the impartiality and independence of the decision-makers.




Strictly Private and Confidential
llth August 2003.
DearYasmen,
Revocation of Candidate Approval.
At its recent meeting the Candidates Committee reviewed and updated the Candidate Approval list. As part of that process the Committee was required to consider whether it might be appropriate to instigate the revocation procedure with regards to a number of candidates where issues had arisen since the approval had first been given.
I have been mandated by the Committee to write to you to give you notice that the Committee has decided to consider whether your approval should be revoked on the following grounds:
1) You have made allegations of impropriety against 5 members of the Group which have been found on independent investigation not to be true.
2) Notwithstanding the results of the investigation you have failed to withdraw the allegations and to apologise to the councillors concerned.
3) You have subsequently stated that you had been "vindicated by the report from the executive regarding the conduct of the executive and councillors to me" thereby implying that the allegations made by you had been found to be true when that was not so.
4) By reason of the above, you have shown an inability to work as a team, to show due respect to colleagues and have cast doubt as to whether you would comply with the Groups Standing Orders and Code of Conduct and therefore no longer meet the criteria necessary for an approved candidate.
No decision has yet been taken to revoke your approval. The Committee has only decided that it was appropriate to instigate the procedure for considering

whether your approval should be revoked. I enclose a copy of the Constitution of the Candidates Approval Committee for your information. The section regarding revocation is contained in paragraphs 22 to 25 inclusive.
In order for the Committee to consider whether your approval should be revoked it is necessary for there to be a hearing to determine the facts and decide whether it is appropriate to revoke approval. You are of course entitled to attend the meeting to put your version of the facts and to make representations as to whether revocation is appropriate. Because the Committee would like you to attend the meeting I would be grateful if you could contact me in the next seven days to arrange a date when you would be able to attend a hearing by the Committee.
If you require any further procedural information please don't hesitate to contact me.
Yours sincerely,
Cllr Simon Ashley
On behalf of the Candidates Committee



Complaint regarding Yasmen Zalzala.
On the 13th of January, I sent the regional Chair, Dave Smithson, 9 E Mails regarding Yasmen's complaint that David Sandiford and John Commons had acted in a "racist and sexist" manner towards Yasmen, asking the region to investigate. I also asked the region to consider whether,

"Yasmen makes complaints when she does not get her own way, abuses the party's procedures by making complaints with no evidence, and acts in bad faith.
I want the region to consider whether Yasmen acts maliciously by making complaints simply because she does not get her own way."
The reason I am asking the region the consider this matter is simple. A party as diverse as the one we have in Manchester can only be held together by a bond of mutual respect, tolerance of others and a large dose of discipline. We have activist and Councillors who are men, women, gay, straight, Muslim, Catholic and atheist, old and young.
Every other member of the party seems to be signed up to these value, but they are undermined if people abuse the system. There are, as you would expect, lots of disagreements on policy. Some you win and some you lose, but we need to know that we can have that two way dialogue without people's motives being questioned.
Two councillors, one who was reelected last Thursday with a 900 majority, with over 30 years service as councillors to the party, have been called "racist and sexist" by another candidate from the same party. 9 months ago. I asked the region to investigate this complaint, and Yasmen claims never to have made it.
I hope the region will reject Yasmen's complaints, particularly regarding the boundary review. My personal view is that Yasmen should issue a retraction and apology for the accusations made about Cllrs Commons and Sandiford and if not, should be taken off the Approved Candidates list.
Simon Ashley Group Leader 6th May 2003.