Labour have today responded to allegations that bullying and inappropriate behaviour from independent Cabinet member Cllr Alibor Choudhury forced the resignation of respected Tower Hamlets Homes Chair Barry Simons. There are concerns that the circumstances of Simons’ departure will make it immeasurably harder to get a high quality replacement which is needed need to help shake up Tower Hamlets Homes.
In his resignation letter Mr Simons states that “the fundamental reason for my resignation is that one of the council’s appointees to the Board, Councillor Choudhury, has in my view made it impossible for the Board to function properly by attempting to veto confidential Board discussions on the changes to services and cost savings.”
Speaking following the release of Mr Simons’ resignation letter yesterday, Labour’s Housing Spokesperson, Cllr Abdal Ullah, said:
“Barry Simons was a highly experienced housing expert, whatever your disagreements you cannot throw your weight around and bully people until they quit.
“For years Lutfur Rahman and his councillors have ignored the issue of high leaseholder charges. They cannot demand cuts to service charges just before an election and not expect there to be consequences. If Lutfur Rahman was actually up to the job he would have acted to get a grip on service charges years ago as John Biggs has pledged to do. Instead we once again see the totally unacceptable spectacle of Cllr Choudhury resorting to bullying and intimidation to get his way rather than reasoned discussion.”
Labour’s Candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:
“Alibor Choudhury is Lutfur Rahman’s right hand man and his behaviour highlights a basic problem with the current leadership - intolerance, mistrust and not willing to be open and accountable. It is a disgraceful abuse of power we sadly know the current mayor will do nothing about.
“This will do nothing to encourage the brightest and best to come and work in Tower Hamlets. If I become mayor I will never tolerate this behaviour from anyone acting in my name.”