Further to the Lib Dem Voice post on Henley Selections you'll never guess who turned up in comments?
Former Manchester Withington Lib Dem candidate Yasmin Zalzala that's who. With much of her own painful story posted, with exclusive emails and transcripts. Any ellipsis in this extract from LDV comments indicates other comments, not relevant to this post, have been redacted.
# Yasmin Zalzala Says 28th May 2008 at 9:44 pm
The Lib Dems keep claiming there are by-election rules for selecting a candidate which includes dumping the locally selected candidate when one is in situ.
I was with the party for many years and do not recall such a rule.
Is it in the constitution? Perhaps someone would be kind enough to direct me to the relevant info?
# Mark Pack Says 28th May 2008 at 10:39 pm
Clause 11.6 of the party’s federal constitution says that if there is a Parliamentary by-election a new selection process is run.
It has been there for at least eighteen years; the copy I just checked was dated 1990, though I think it was there right from the formation of the party.
PS Russ: the party followed its normal democratic rules for selecting a candidate, with party members having a choice of who to vote for. That’s very different from what the Conservatives did, sending in their party leader to order the local party to tear up its process.
# Chris Paul Says: 29th May 2008 at 12:11 pm
Yasmin of course was dumped even though there was no by-election. In favour of her agent the despicable John Hospital Hoax Leech. And she was dumped with comments that as an Iraqi, woman, muslim, BME she was a liability. Something that she has been trying to address ever since.
Interestingly the ward where Yasmin heroically stood over several years is Old Moat and from which she increased the Lib Dem vote in the constituency hand over fist in 97 and 01. And then they go and select an Asian, Muslim guy this time, despite using ethnicity and religion as part of their Yasmin dumping philosophy for 05.
Perhaps this decision has something to do not with any change of heart but with mercenary interests. Sufiyan Rana who was the unsuccessful candidate is credited with giving £2,500 to John Leech’s constituency funds on 31 March 2008. Just five weeks before this election.
# James Graham Says 29th May 2008 at 12:18 pm
"And then they go and select an Asian, Muslim guy this time, despite using ethnicity and religion as part of their Yasmin dumping philosophy for 05."
You do love to undermine your own argument don’t you Chris? If the party was so racist in the manner that you suggest, why would it do that?
It couldn’t be something to do with the quality of the respective candidates, could it? Or are you incapable of evaluating people on any basis other than the colour of their skin?
# Chris Paul Says 29th May 2008 at 1:11 pm
My point dear James Graham is that this candidate - who lives miles away, past Manchester Gorton and Manchester Central in the new Blackley constituency and so ticks few if any Lib Dem boxes - gave £2500 and that this may have overcome the kind of objections made to Yasmin’s candidacy. Those remain indefensible.
Yes, of course Rana could have more going for him as a candidate than Zalzala. I wouldn’t say so myself. He and his big brother are amiable, over confident clots. But that’s not the point.
Man Wit Lib Dems did not say to Yasmin that she was no longer good enough. They said she was female, BME, Muslim and that’s why she had to go.
But Rana provided a timely cash donation.
No race or gender card was played in the case of Henley as far as I know. Though they have it seems upset some party members and picked an out of town gentleman.
But I continue to be amazed that Lib Dems likes James Graham simply cannot or will not engage with the substantive points.
Manchester Withington Lib Dems specifically passed over Yasmin Zalzala as their candidate because of her race, religion and gender. This is a serious enough problem for them.
Now they have installed a candidate - solicitor Sufiya Rana - who lives and works about ten miles from the constituency, and who is clearly Asian and Muslim. Contemporaneously Mr Rana has donated £2,500 in cash to John Leech's constituency funds. The cash card trumps the constituency race card? I really think we should be told.
This picture shows Simple Simon Ashley joining famous ex-Lib Dem Sajjad Karim in welcoming welcoming Left to Right Moin Azma and Sufiyan Rana (partners in the Azmi Rana firm) to the Lib Dems. Their connection to Labour was I think rather tenuous. Sufiyan's brother "Sham" is also a Lib Dem candidate. Perhaps a vote or two in the past. From Asian Image.
The only other donations actually recorded at the Electoral Commission (there are various others in medium and large four-figure amounts to my certain knowledge) in Manchester towards Lib Dem units since 2001 have been some £23,000 donated under strained circumstances by Angela Gallagher, who had also been allowed to be a candidate, and £8,000 of a possible £45,000+ of councillor allowances - all promised in writing, but 80% withheld so far - from Cllr John Leech MP himself. Hat tip on Rana donation: David Ottewell