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Labour Leader snubs Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion

March 17, 2008 12:00 AM

Councillor Ali was left shocked after Labour Leader Allen Brett refused to appear on a photo with himCabinet Member for Community Cohesion and Housing Councillor Zulf Ali was left angry and confused after leader of the Labour Party Allen Brett refused to appear on a council arranged photo opportunity.

The photo opportunity was set up for the signing of the cross party election pledge aimed at ensuring good race relations in the forthcoming election period. The declaration sets out certain standards, which all candidates must adhere to. Attending the photo opportunity was the Leader of the Council Alan Taylor, Leader of the Labour Party Allen Brett, Leader of the Conservative Party Ashley Dearnley, Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion and Housing Councillor Zulf Ali and Rochdale Council's Chief Executive Roger Ellis.

Councillor Ali said: "I was asked by the council as Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion to come down and witness the signing of this very important declaration that ensures councillors represent the interests of all constituents, regardless of race, sex, colour, religion or any other discriminatory factor. However, when it came to taking a photo for the press, Councillor Brett went into a childish hissy-fit and refused to appear on a photo if I was going to be on it with him.

Councillor Ali continued: "When I asked him why, he said it was because I was up for election in May. I quickly pointed out to Councillor Brett that the Leader of the Conservative Party Ashley Dearnley was also up for election in May. However he was totally dismissive of this fact and simply point blank refused to allow me to appear on the photo. As I recognised the importance of the signing I duly stepped aside to allow the photo with the three leaders to be taken. What Councillor Brett demonstrated was opposition politics at its very worse and it doesn't bode well for the agreement he has just signed."

Councillor Ali has written a letter of complaint to Rochdale Borough's Chief Executive Roger Ellis about the behaviour of Councillor Brett.