“Gay clique” councillor deselected for poor attendance local party says

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A councillor who claimed that Southwark, south London was controlled by a gay clique was deselected as a Liberal Democrat councillor due to poor attendance, the local party’s vice chairman claims.

Dr Abdur-Rahman Olayiwola, councillor for the Chaucer ward in the borough resigned his membership of the Liberal Democrats after he was not chosen to be a candidate at the local election to be held on the 4th of May.

The devout Muslim claimed that there was a “disproportionate” number of gay people serving on the council’s executive committee since the Liberal Democrats won the control of the council in 2002. He claimed that this has resulted in a lack of representation for ethnic minorities.

“I have nothing against gays or whites or anyone else,” he told the South London Press. “But more than half the executive have been gay, lesbian or bisexual. When we came to power the executive was entirely white. It’s disproportionate.

“Last year they said they wanted to make Southwark the gay capital of the country. How many people living in poverty here have that as their priority?”

Gary Glover, vice chairman of North Southwark Bermondsey Liberal Democrats told PinkNews.co.uk: “Dr Olayiwola let down his constituents, his ward colleagues and the Liberal Democrat Group by failing to turn up and do the job. His homophobic swan song just proves that we were right not to re-approve him as a Lib Democrat candidate.”

Mr Glover went on to criticise Dr Olayiwola’s record as a councillor: “He has always put himself up for the roles that receive a special responsibility allowance,” adding, “despite having a really poor record of attendance, I’m fairly certain that Dr Olayiwola never turned the money down.”

North Southwark Bermondsey MP Simon Hughes said that almost half of the candidates for the local election were from ethnic minorities adding: “It’s not unusual for people, when they don’t get reselected, to get angry and go independent.”

Dr Olayiwola says that he will stand as an independent in the Chaucer ward at the elections next month.