Doctor loses patience over ‘smear’ campaign

Zahid Chauhan and Andy Burnham

On Monday 21st November, 2022 it was exclusively revealed, here on Neil Wilby Media, that lawyers acting for an Oldham general practitioner (GP) had issued letters warning of legal action to a Liberal Democrat councillor and one of the town’s two newspapers (read the article here).

This followed the issue of a press release by Cllr Mark Kenyon that was reproduced almost verbatim by the Oldham Chronicle. The subject matter being a dispute over alleged register of interest discrepancies connected to the award, by Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, of a COVID-19 swabbing contract to a company, Bardoc Ltd, of which Dr Zahid Chauahan MBE (pictured above right) was a senior, but part-time paid employee.

He was also an Oldham Council Cabinet Member at the material time and retained by Bardoc as their Chief Clinical Officer. Presently, he serves the Borough as Deputy Mayor and his Alexandra ward as a councillor. Tireless campaigning for the homeless and other vulnerable groups are notable aspects of his public service.

Dr Chauhan robustly denies any wrongdoing in connection with that contract and describes the actions of Cllr Kenyon as the makings of a ‘smear campaign’ against him. The Liberal Democrats, whom it is understood from several sources are themselves taking legal advice, have, surprisingly and so far, spurned their right to reply.

A remark that also applies to the Oldham Chronicle, who have not responded substantively to a list of questions put to their managing director Matthew Ramsbottom, via email, on Friday 18th November, 2022.

It has now emerged, not at all unexpectedly given his history, that a third party is also on the list of those threatened with draconian legal action: Raja Miah, an unemployed, Tameside-based conspiracy theorist, has, according to lawyers acting for Dr Chauhan, been running an almost ceaseless ‘smear campaign’ against their client since 8th November, 2022, alleging impropriety and ‘cover-up’ at a number of levels on his various, and frequently banned, Recusant Nine (or Recusant Raja) social media platforms.

They include, but are not limited to the Bardoc contract, as Miah has also repeatedly referenced failings identified by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) at two Oldham GP surgeries – Medlock and Royton – where Dr Chauhan holds senior positions. Miah has also re-published, on Recusant Nine, a cached version of the Oldham Chronicle article that is the subject of the legal letter to that newspaper.

JMW Solicitors, a leading Manchester law firm well known to Miah, will robustly assert that their client has acted appropriately at all times and that posts and broadcasts made by Miah, stating or implying otherwise, are part of ‘a smear campaign against Dr Chauhan’.

A statement issued by Dr Chauhan, and published elsewhere on this website last week, is in much the same general terms (read in full here).

YouTube has already removed at least one of the Recusant Nine transmissions featuring Dr Chauhan following a defamation complaint. Miah’s response to that action by the social media giant is blunt:

“It doesn’t mean there is actually any defamation in the video. Extracting information from public documents, however uncomfortable they read for powerful politicians, is not defamation.

“And by now, you all [Recusant Nine readers and listeners] know I bring the evidence. So good luck suing me for defamation”.

Almost two years ago, JMW acted for another Oldham Labour councillor (and former Mayor), Cllr Riaz Ahmad, in defamation and harassment proceedings against Raja Miah and another controversial local figure, Khazir Rehman (better known as ‘Kaiser’). Miah compromised the claim by removing or editing offending materials, a public apology and a donation to charity. His close friend and long-term political ally, Kaiser, took the matter all the way to the High Court in London and lost. He now faces costs and damages in the order of £200, 000 (read more here).

Dr Chauhan was also the complainant in a criminal trial that resulted in a conviction, at Tameside Magistrates’ Court in August, 2021, for Kaiser Rehman over harassment allegations. Rehman was sentenced to a prison sentence of 12 weeks, suspended for 18 months, amongst a range of other sanctions.

In what has not been the best week for Raja Miah, tomorrow (Friday 25th November, 2022) he faces his ninth visit of the year to face magistrates or a district judge, as defendant or complainant, in a Greater Manchester courthouse (read more here).

His frenzied begging for more money from his supporters, as he once again threatens to abandon them by closing down Recusant Nine, also came under close scrutiny elsewhere on Neil Wilby Media yesterday (read more here).

Page last updated Thursday 24th November, 2022 at 0950hrs

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Picture credits: Saddleworth Independent

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Published by Neil Wilby

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

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