Galloway demands sacking over poll drama

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THE bitter fall out from the Bradford Council elections which saw leader Ian Greenwood lose his seat, has continued with complaints of harassment, extremism and calls for the chief executive to resign.

Bradford West MP George Galloway said the position of the authority’s chief executive Tony Reeves was “untenable” after four recounts in Mr Greenwood’s Little Horton seat, which the Labour leader had held for more than 17 years.

Respect’s Alyas Karmani was declared the winner by just 17 votes after the fourth count.

Mr Galloway said: “Respect won on the initial ballot and three different recounts – and the margin actually increased. It’s unprecedented in a council election. You have to ask if there is a conflict of interest here, the chief executive agreeing to the request of the man who effectively employs him.

“I demand that the chief executive resigns immediately.”

The night of drama followed a campaign which is now being investigated by police, after Bradford East Liberal Democrat MP David Ward complained about two incidents of harassment in the city on Wednesday night.

He said: ”I have never seen anything like it, we were being shouted and sworn at and told to get off the streets.

“George Galloway is an extremist – he uses extremist language to make young, impressionable people agitated and full of hatred.”

Respect spokesman Ron McKay denied the claims, dismissing them as a “waste of police time” and said the party was considering making its own complaint.

Aside from the drama in Little Horton the night had proved to be a successful one for Labour, having picked up seats from the Tories in Keighley East and Keighley West, and from the Lib Dems in Clayton and Fairweather Green.

Labour now hold 45 seats, one short of the 46 required for an overall majority. The Tories have 24, the Lib Dems have eight and Respect hold five.