New deputy mayor of the Rochdale council under investigation
The new deputy mayor of the Rochdale council is facing an investigation following a complaint lodged against him.
Councillor Shakil Ahmed, who chairs the council’s planning and licensing committee, was appointed to the position of deputy mayor at the annual meeting earlier last month.
The member of the Labour party for Kingsway will assume mayoral responsibilities and perform ceremonial duties while serving as an understudy to Conservative Councillor Mike Holly.
Reports have stated that the council received the complaint before going into the ‘purdah’ period, before the local elections held on May 4.
The council has recognised that an investigation is underway, and the local and regional branches of the Labour Party have also acknowledged it. Currently, it remains uncertain whether Councillor Ahmed will be subject to a standards committee hearing or what penalties may be imposed if the complaint against him is substantiated. The timeline for this matter has not been confirmed.
A council spokesperson said, “Following an assessment of a complaint, an investigation is now underway and will be dealt with through the council’s standards process. No further comment will be provided until the investigation has concluded.”
Rochdale Labour group also issued a statement, saying that ‘it would be wrong to prejudge’ what the result of the ongoing investigation will be.
“Therefore, Councillor Shakil Ahmed and the Labour Group will be making no comments at this stage, except for the Labour Party’s set comment from the regional party,” a spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for Labour North West added, “The party does not comment on internal party matters and any complaints are investigated in line with our rules and procedures.”
Councillor Ahmed was born in Kashmir and brought up in the UK. He went to a primary school in Coventry before moving to Rochdale in 1984, where he attended Broadfield High School.
He is described as ‘a very proud Rochdalian’ on the council website and he ‘believes very strongly in equality, social justice and equal opportunities for all’.