Council chief hits back at critics

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Bradford Council’s chief executive has hit back at criticism of its handling of the local elections, which centred on four recounts for former leader Ian Greenwood’s Little Horton seat.

Eventually Respect’s Alyas Karmani was declared winner by 17 votes, ousting Mr Greenwood from the ward he held for 17 years.

Bradford West MP George Galloway said the position of chief officer Tony Reeves was untenable, claiming the recounts, including one at the request of Mr Greenwood, were “unprecedented”.

But Mr Reeves, in a letter to the Yorkshire Post, said it would have been unreasonable not to have granted the request given the closeness of the vote. “If the recounts had not taken place the council would have been left exposed to a potential legal challenge; an election petition could have led to a re-election with its associated financial costs for both the successful candidate and the council” he said.

Page 12: Mr Reeves’ letter in full.