Press Release By Respect Group Bradford

Before we proceed further we want to reassure our constituents that as elected councillors we remain committed to Bradford and will continue to work hard for them on the core issues that are important to the future of Bradford District.
To date, as a group of five councillors we have not been given an explanation as to why two councillors from our group have been suspended. We strongly object to these suspensions and are fully united as a group in doing so and will continue to operate as a group in Council.
On 13th August 2013 all five Respect Councillors articulated the legitimate frustrations of our respective constituents to the comments made by George Galloway MP in his recent statements where he expressed the plausibility of him standing for the position of Mayor of London. The Respect Party in response to our raising these concerns of Bradfordian’s has sought to silence two of our group. Our concern has always been that Bradford District and our respective constituencies should be the main priority of our work and that of George Galloway MP and the Respect Party in Bradford.
As a group of councillors we categorically refute the assertion that anyone of our group has in any way tried to sabotage the party. On the contrary as a group of councillors we have been proactive in trying to positively steer the party towards democratic structures, greater inclusion, accountability and co-operative approaches to its development of Bradford and the issues that are important to local people. Towards this end we backed the development of the Respect Policy Executive, development of ward and accountability structures for councillors and the constituency MP. Moreover we have sought to develop inclusive and cooperative political approaches to addressing issues in Bradford as well as being forthright in challenging the other political parties on specific policies.
We are united as a group in objecting to the very serious allegation that; “councillors who have openly connived with the Khans in destabilising the party in Bradford”, this allegation is defamatory, baseless and completely unfounded and is symptomatic of a culture within the party that seeks to marginalise and excommunicate party members that raise legitimate concerns in relation to the operation and future development of the Respect Party in Bradford.
Therefore, in view of the suspension of our fellow councillors and the intransigence of certain Respect officials, we the Bradford Respect group of Councillors collectively demand the two councillors be publicly exonerated and their suspensions revoked and the baseless and false allegations about them are retracted.
Until our reasonable requests are met then we ALL resign our whip from the Respect Party with immediate effect and will continue to work for the citizens of Bradford as an independent group in the Council.
Approved and signed by:
Councillor Alyas Karmani- Group Leader
Councillor Ruqayyah Collector- Deputy Leader
Councillor Faisal Khan
Councillor Ishtiaq Ahmed
Councillor Mohammad Shabbir