Controversial ex-councillor may to be removed as candidate in 2022 election

Kaiser

Politics in East Lancashire is rarely dull and today is no exception.

Following publication overnight of the list of candidates who will contest the local elections in Oldham next month, an objection to one of them has already been raised with the Returning Officer, Harry Catherall

Section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 states that if you have been convicted, and received a prison sentence (or suspended sentence) of three months or more, in the five years before the election, you are unable to stand in the election.

Khazir Rehman, better known as ‘Kaiser’, received such a sentence at Tameside Magistrates’ Court last year after being found guilty of harassing Labour councillor, Dr Zahid Chauhan. He was handed a prison term of twelve weeks, suspended for eighteen months.

Despite that, he was nominated to stand in the Medlock Vale ward as a Conservative candidate which might, to the independent observer, seem extraordinary in all the circumstances. He previously served there as a Labour councillor and was defeated as an independent candidate, subsequently. 

A report has also been made to Greater Manchester Police as it appears that they have locus in such matters, particularly as the subject candidate has signed a declaration affirming that he is eligible to stand. It is an offence to provide a false statement on nomination papers. Providing a false statement could invalidate a candidate’s election, and is also punishable by an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment under section 65A of the Representation of the People Act, 1983 (read here).

The media lead for the Oldham and Saddleworth Conservative Group, Cllr Dave Arnott, has been approached for comment. Over the past six months, the Group has consistently refused to confirm whether Kaiser Rehman has been subject to sanction, or removed as a Party member, following his conviction.

More recently, Rehman lost a huge civil claim against him after harassing and defaming another Labour councillor, Riaz Ahmad. Kaiser faces a costs and damages bill in the order of £200,000 (read more here).

As he is subject to restraining orders in connection with those harassment incidents against sitting councillors it is difficult to see how that would be compatible with being in the same council chamber or committee rooms. 

Oldham Council was approached for a statement on the issue but declined to comment. They have been asked to re-consider their response in the light of the substantial public interest in this matter. 

Page last updated: Wednesday 6th April, 2022 at 1645 hours

Thank you for reading and a polite request: If you wish to make a contribution to the running costs of this website it would be very much appreciated. Donations can made securely, via PayPal at this link.

Corrections: Please let me know if there is a mistake in this article. I will endeavour to correct it as soon as possible.

Picture credit: LinkedIn

Right of reply: If you are mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let me have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory it will be added to the article.

© Neil Wilby 2015-2022. Unauthorised use, or reproduction, of the material contained in this article, without permission from the author, is strictly prohibited. Extracts from, and links to, the article (or blog) may be used, provided that credit is given to Neil Wilby Media, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

One thought on “Controversial ex-councillor may to be removed as candidate in 2022 election

  1. Thank you for this interesting article.
    I cannot see that Rehman has committed an electoral offence here, because his suspended sentence is not long enough to disqualify him from office. Three months is 13 weeks, not 12. Even if he was disqualified, the returning officer has no power to remove him from the election on that basis.
    Hope this helps.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: