Oldham Labour Group expect forthcoming CSE report ‘to make uncomfortable reading for local Tories’

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, recently asked the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in the House of Commons whether he would ‘condemn those Oldham Conservative candidates who delivered toxic, racist, misogynistic’ leaflets’ during the local elections.

He replied, during one of the often controversial Prime Minister Questions sessions: “I’d be very happy to look at those details if she’ll send them to me.”

This request by the Oldham East representative follows complaints made to Conservative Party HQ against councillors and election candidates in Oldham Metropolitan Borough that are believed to include Cllrs Dave Arnott, Robert Barnes, Lewis Quigg and Bethany Sharp, together with Kaiser Rehman and Gary Tarbuck, over their support of the election leaflet printed and published by disgraced Tameside conspiracy theorist, Raja Miah, and mentioned in Parliament.

Tarbuck is the de facto Leader of a group that self-style as The Rabble, which forms the core support and funding of Miah’s various on-line platforms.

There is also a mooted split in the local Tory Group as the five Saddleworth councillors, the aforementioned Cllr Woodvine and Cllrs Pam Byrne, Luke Lancaster, Chris McManus and Graham Sheldon, seek to distance themselves from those representing the Oldham wards (Arnott, Barnes, Quigg and Sharp). The latter four, interestingly, all failed to attend the first Full Council meeting of the new 2022/23 municipal year.

Max Woodvine recently gave this comment to an on-line Manchester-based publication:

“It makes me feel ashamed really. As Conservatives we need to display the exemplary standards expected of us by the people who put us where we are and make us councillors.”

Pam Byrne added that the party’s apparent coordination with Miah makes her “very uncomfortable”.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “The matter to which you refer is being investigated and we will not be commenting further while there is an ongoing investigation”.

A recent complaint to the same office about Lynne Kovacs, another avid Raja Miah cultist and a Conservative candidate for the Waterhead ward in the recent Oldham elections, found that ‘she is not a Member of the Conservative Party. The complaint had drawn attention to the fact that Ms Kovacs had given overt support to two other candidates from different Parties during the election period.

A source within The Rabble, although not considered a particularly reliable medium, says that Gary Tarbuck isn’t a Tory member either. Setting aside reliability issues, that does seem highly plausible. Particularly, as Tarbuck has refused to respond on Twitter about the matter.

A matter that should be of very considerable angst to Cllr Arnott who acted as his polling agent in the Royton South ward. The latter is still nursing wounds after failing in his bid to take over as Group Leader of the local Conservatives. He had told numerous people at the election count on May 5th that ‘it was in the bag’.

A former long-serving Leader of the Group, ex-Cllr and Mayor John Hudson, has also distanced himself from the Arnott cohort. He previously had supported and promoted the Labour CSE ‘cover-up’ conspiracy theories. Yesterday, at a Falklands War Memorial Service, he told anyone that would listen that “Barnes, Quigg and Co aren’t proper Tories”.

Further embarrassment awaits as the long-awaited Oldham CSE Assurance Review is expected to completely de-bunk the Raja Miah conspiracy theories that Cllr Arnott, and his small cohort of fellow cultists, have been so keen to adopt. Notably that Jim McMahon, Sean Fielding and Arooj Shah, all former leaders of both the Oldham Labour Party and the Council, allegedly covered up along with all other local colleagues, child sexual abuse in return for Asian block votes.

A grotesque allegation, along with the ‘Lee Rigby email’ myth, that was completely debunked elsewhere on this website as far back as November, 2020 in an article headlined ‘Get The White Vote Angry’ (read here). A copy of which has been sent to the Conservative Party press office for their perusal.

A local Labour Party member, who did not wish to be named for fear of further disgusting personalised attacks by Miah and his Rabble, says: ‘The way the Tories have behaved during the election has brought the whole process into disrepute and dragged the name of Oldham through the mud, yet again. If, as expected, the CSE Review clears Labour councillors and their Leaders, past and present, of covering up child sex abuse in return for Asian block votes then a full and unreserved apology from them has to be forthcoming very soon afterwards”.

Cllr Arnott and Cllr Lancaster, in their joint roles as media leads for the Oldham and Saddleworth Conservatives, were asked to respond. Neither has even acknowledged the email, so far. Cllr Arnott, in particular, has, regrettably, a lengthening history of dodging straightforward questions. Particularly, where they relate to very obvious wrongdoing of his Tory colleagues. The most notable being the stonewalling of enquiries over convicted harasser, Kaiser Rehman, sentenced to a suspended prison sentence in September, 2021 but standing as a candidate in the recent local elections just over 7 months later (read more here). Rehman is another with close (and, indeed, long-term) links to fellow conspiracy theorist Miah.

Debbie Abrahams’ constituency office has been asked for an update on the matters she has raised with Prime Minister. The email was acknowledged soon afterwards and a substantive response is awaited.

Page last updated Tuesday 14th June, 2022 at 0925hrs

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Published by Neil Wilby

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

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