Category Archives: Politics

Standing up for the many in London – Murad Qureshi

Follow Murad on

Twitter – @MuradQureshiLDN

https://www.facebook.com/MuradQureshiLDN/

Murad’s Statement

Boris Johnson ‘s government is pursuing a divisive and reactionary agenda across the board.

We must stand shoulder to shoulder with all those communities, trade unions, migrants and others resisting the Tory attacks.

Now is the time to unite our party, take the fight to the Tories, get Sadiq Khan re-elected and secure a London for the many, not the few.

Having served as an Assembly Member (AM) until 2016, I want to get back into City Hall to stand up for Londoners.

As an experienced campaigner, I have a proven track record of working against austerity and privatization. Working with Trade Unions and local Labour Groups I helped save fire stations from austerity cuts and post offices from closure.

I believe Labour must continue to oppose cuts and support investment in our future, including through extending public ownership and a green new deal.

As Jeremy Corbyn’s successor as Chair of the Stop the War Coalition, I have been at the forefront of the anti-Trump marches.

We will continue these protests every time he comes to our shores and oppose his attacks on our Mayor.

We must continue to stand up to hate and for unity, not division.

I also want to continue working with all the campaigns I have been involved with on tackling the climate emergency – against expansion of airports in London like Heathrow and City Airport, for improvements in air quality and reductions in noise pollution.

As the inspirational student climate strikers showed us, we need a politics that puts people and planet – not private profit – first.

I’d like to thank all the CLPs who nominated me and everyone who has supported my campaign so far, including the CWU, FBU and UNISON Labour Link Greater London regions, London Labour Left, Socialist Health Association, Councillors including Council Leader Stephen Cowan of Hammersmith & Fulham and of course MPs Andy Slaughter, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott. 

And also an endorsement from Emma Dent Coad of Kensington 

“As AM, Murad worked tirelessly to fight Mayor Johnson’s proposed cuts to police and fire stations. Indeed the team at North Ken fire station, the first team to the Grenfell Tower fire over two years ago, have acknowledged that he was probably instrumental in saving their station. 

Murad has the rare qualities of understanding issues and problems from all quarters of our unequal society with empathy and kindness, while being able to grasp complex issues and how best to lobby, argue and petition the appropriate people at the right time. 

I have no hesitation in endorsing Murad as a London Assembly candidate” 

A better world is possible. Please give me your support.

#MuradforLondon

Contact Details:

@MuradQureshiLDN

https://www.facebook.com/MuradQureshiLDN/

www.muradqureshi.com

MuradforLondon@gmail.com

@murad.qureshi ( Instagram )

Sign up here for more information on how you can support Murad Qureshi for the GLA:

http://bit.ly/muradforlondonsignup

Petition to Support Lord Dub's Amendment

Peers have voted for Lord Alf Dub’s cross-party amendment to the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20 to protect child refugee family reunion. Please sign Jacob Rety’s petition and ask Felicity Buchan M.P. to vote to uphold these protections for separated child refugees tomorrow.     http://chng.it/2fkwgGFr95

  
The bill will be coming up in the House of Commons tomorrow. The Government insists their position has not changed. But by taking the step of removing legal protections to ensure that family reunion to the same standard as under current EU law continues, the Government risks sending a dangerous signal that could panic child refugees and their families. We know that when safe and legal routes are not accessible, then children are more likely to make dangerous journeys and be pushed into the hands of people smugglers. There are currently thousands of refugee children – some as young as 8 – surviving in camps, shelters and on the streets of Europe. Many of these children are unaccompanied and with the absence of any legal route to safety, face the very real risk of trafficking, sexual exploitation and forced labour.


The Government has also suggested it is making this move to increase flexibility in the Brexit negotiations – but the principle of safe routes for child refugees with family in the UK should be non-negotiable. Without this legal protection, there is no guarantee that child refugees will be able to reunite siblings, uncles, aunts, grandparents rather than just parents.
     
We hope Felicity Buchan MP will   take a robust moral stand in support of Family Reunion Scheme like her predecessor Emma Dent Coad for defenceless child refugees in the Brexit legislation. The government must act in utmost good faith when it comes to the welfare of these acutely vulnerable children and not ignore the gravity of the subject by revoking family reunification during Brexit negotiations.

It dishearteningly appears that a degree of “refugee fatigue” has set in against the backdrop of the Brexit debacle. We strongly believe that assisting these young, vulnerable lives, by uniting them with their families and protecting them from unspeakable dangers, where 90% of the children who are here have come to the UK through dangerous routes, rather than safely and legally as in family reunion. Helping these young lives is an effective way to make our humanity count and help build a better society.

Statement from Emma Dent Coad

Grenfell: false accusations factcheck

12.11.19

My usual response to trolling on social media is ‘one factual rebuttal and walk away’. However, the false accusations linking me to the decision on the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower has returned once again.  A good friend of mine was once physically attacked for defending me on this.

So here are some checkable facts which I hope will end this libel.

I joined the Board of the TMO in June 2008 and left in October 2012. Here is a link to the Board of Directors, also showing which Councillors were on it and when. Council Leader Cllr Elizabeth Campbell was on the Board at the same time as me:

https://companycheck.co.uk/company/03048135/THE-ROYAL-BOROUGH-OF-KENSINGTON-AND-CHELSEA-TENANT-MANAGEMENT-ORGANISATION-LIMITED/companies-house-data

During my tenure there had been numerous complaints from residents about the condition of Grenfell Tower: broken lifts, draughty windows, poor insulation, and the heating and hot water system regularly breaking down.

In October 2012 (around the time I left the TMO) the then Cabinet Member Cllr Tim Coleridge announced that a major refurbishment would be undertaken. Residents were pleased. At the time the proposed contractor was Leadbitter. The scope of the work was agreed at the time, but the detail was to come. Link to press release:

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/pressrelease/pressreleasePage.aspx?id=4255

In April 2013 responsibility for the project was handed over to the new Cabinet Member, Cllr Rock Feilding-Mellen.

It was not until January 2014 that the planning application was agreed (search for Grenfell Tower via this link):

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/planning/searches/default.aspx#tabs-planning-2

In April 2014 it was announced by the Council and TMO that due to costs the contract had been awarded to Rydon rather than Leadbitter who had scoped the work. Note that this was AFTER the planning application was granted approval:

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/pressrelease/pressreleasePage.aspx?id=4714

Throughout the summer amendments were made and detailed specifications decided. Cladding materials proposed at 1 July 2014:

There were several amendments during this period. Often the details of these are done by ‘delegated decision’, which means the final details and choice of materials is decided by officers and not the Planning Committee.

Then on 30 September 2014 ‘Condition 3’ was agreed by delegated decision; this related to the final choice of cladding:

Who made those decisions, advised by whom, and why, should be thoroughly scrutinised by the agencies tasked with the job of investigating these matters and allocating accountability, responsibility, blame and – we hope ultimately – guilt.

To be clear, I was on the Board when the principle of refurbishing Grenfell Tower was discussed, but I was nowhere near the decision-making process for the detailed specifications for refurbishing Grenfell which started when I left. Board members agreed the contract but do not specify cladding or indeed any other technical details. Neither should they.

However, on 16 June a report in the Standard said: ‘She (EDC) was on the board of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation when the tower’s refurbishment was discussed. Kensington’s ex-Tory MP, Victoria Borwick, said Ms Dent Coad shared “collective responsibility” for the work.’

In the following weeks I received countless death threats.

As you can see clearly from the dates when decisions were made above, the accusation is incorrect. I have asked Victoria Borwick three times to accept that her accusation was mistaken. She has refused.

Now Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate Sam Gyimah has repeated this very dangerous fiction. He has been asked to apologise for his mistake. At the time of writing he has not apologised.  

Emma Dent Coad