Elsewhere on this website, on 3rd February, 2022, it was exclusively revealed that former Oldham Councillor, Khazir Rehman, had failed to defend a libel and harassment claim brought against him by sitting councillor and former close-working colleague, Cllr Riaz Ahmad (read full article here).
In an excoriating judgement, dated 26th December, 2021, but delivered to the parties to the action some 5 weeks later, the judge, Master Victoria McCloud, set out the reasons why the defence to the claim must be struck out. She reserved her remedy for 5 days. Her Order is expected to cover the consequential issues of damages and costs together with matters such as removal of offending material and restraint against future repetition.
Kaiser, as he is more widely known, has already deleted his Twitter account and purged the all content from his Facebook, probably anticipating what the court order is likely to set out.
But Master McCloud’s final word has yet to be delivered, some ten days after the due date. Enquiries with the court office at the Royal Courts of Justice reveal that there is an administrative backlog of at least four weeks. The Order is finalised, but is awaiting application of the necessary Court Seal. By that calculation, if all court tasks are taken by rote, it could be at the end of February, or beginning of March, before the much anticipated document appears.
The costs and damages awarded against Rehman are expected to be substantial. Adding to deepening financial woes as he is presently the subject of enforcement proceedings by Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council over unpaid legal costs following another court reversal. He has claimed, previously, on social media that this ‘victimisation’, as he describes it, ‘may make him homeless’.
He was convicted in August, 2021 of harassing another Oldham Councillor, Dr Zahid Chauhan, and, it is understood, being pursued through the civil courts by his victim. If that is the case it is very doubtful, in the light of the criminal conviction, that any defence of such a claim would sustain. Rehman was handed an eighteen month suspended prison sentence and currently remains on prison licence.
In the face of all this adverse publicity and the most appalling conduct towards political opponents, the Oldham and Saddleworth Conservative Group, led by Cllr Graham Sheldon, have been stonewalling enquiries for months as to whether Kaiser Rehman, much the best known of their party activists and a self-styled electioneering expert, is to be expelled (read more here). Enquiries to Conservative Party HQ have been similarly fruitless.
Cllr Sheldon was censured elsewhere on this website in last year after failing to respond to emails, very shortly after raising in a Full Council meeting a complaint that paid officers were either slow in responding to him, or didn’t respond at all (read article here). He apologised to Neil Wilby, the author of this article, subsequently. A similar apology, and explanation, is awaited from Cllr Dave Arnott, who is the Group’s appointed media representative, and it is to him that a number of unanswered recent enquiries have been made.
Another disgraced political activist, Raja Miah, a close friend and ally of Kaiser Rehman was originally a party to the libel and harassment claim brought by Cllr Riaz. It was the subject of a compromise settlement that included an apology, removal of the subject material and an undisclosed payment to charity.
Miah is currently on court bail facing charges of harassment and making malicious communications. The complainants are two females from the Greater Manchester area. The trial is expected to take place in June or July this year (read more here). He is also avidly backing the local Tories in the local elections to be held in May.
Cllrs Arnott and Sheldon, together with Kaiser Rehman, have been offered right of reply.
Page last updated at 1425hrs on Friday 18th February, 2022
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