UK: Councillor quits Labour Party after calling colleague ‘queer’

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A councillor who called a colleague “queer” during a public row has resigned from the Labour Party along with his wife.

Manchester Evening News reports in a statement, Councillor Farooq Ahmed said: “Our resignation comes due to all the political in-fighting and division within the Labour group, the lack of support and intervention by the local Labour party and regional office.

“There are many issues which could have been resolved internally which would have prevented negative media attention for the town.

“It is a sad time for us, as we wanted to see the end of all this political and personal fiasco.

“The group should be focusing on the real issues within our town.”

Cllr Ahmed, previously responsible for finance at Rochdale Council, was questioned by police officers over an incident which took place on 23 January.

The councillor was reported to police by Rochdale’s Labour MP Simon Danczuk.

Cllr Ahmed denied using a homophobic slur during a row with fellow Labour Councillor Neil Emmott.

However, Cllr Ahmed was subsequently found guilty of causing a public order offence at Manchester Magistrates’ Court, receiving a fine of £1,000, and made to pay his victim £250 compensation, along with costs of £625.

Cllr Ahmed was suspended by the Labour Party in February.

He and his wife, Shefali Ahmed, will now sit as independents on the council.