Friday, July 24, 2009

Ayoub Khan - drowning in hot water

Cllr Ayoub Khan, the Lib Dem candidate in the next Ladywood parliamentary election, continues to flounder.

If you recall, he was slammed by the Election Commissioner at 2007's election court for making a scurrilous and unwarranted accusation against a Labour councillor. One of the conclusions of the Commissioner's report was that

An unwarranted attempt was made by Mr Aehmed and Mr Ayoub Khan to suggest that Mr Afzal was seeking illegitimately to influence the pursuit of the case

That's pretty damning, when a judicial figure directs that kind of comment against a barrister, but then we know that the Lib Dems in Birmingham regard it as some sort of badge of honour.

Remember that their local proprietor, John Hemming, was himself heavily cricitised by Lord Justice Wall, who said

I will not be persuaded to take seriously any criticism made by him in the future unless it is corroborated by reliable, independent evidence
And John - who continues to serve as an MP - remains unbowed by this, so we can't expect Cllr Khan to behave any differently, even though the High Court has now thrown out his desperate application for a judicial review of the Commissioner's report.
Lord Justice Leverson and Mr Justice Wilkie said there was “no sensible basis” for Coun Khan’s claim that Mr Straker’s findings were perverse or unsubstantiated by evidence. His assertion that Mr Straker’s judgement was flawed was “barely even arguable".
The full judgement can be found here, for those of you of a mind to read the primary source documents and you can find the original decision of the Commissioner here.

Of course, the prolonged - and now exhausted - legal process has also had the convenient side effect of delaying a Bar Standards Board investigation into whether Khan's behaviour amounted to professional misconduct. Another, long-pending investigation, is that by the local Liberal Democrats into the behaviour of this senior local member, who continues to draw a substantial salary as Cabinet Member, councillor and someone they consider to be a suitable representative for the people of Ladywood.

On the evidence so far presented, the case to support that argument is getting weaker.

I see that John Hemming has waded into the fight, showing a deep respect for evidence and skating on thin ice over libel. He admits that
Neither Ayoub, nor myself have any evidence as to who torched the car
but that doesn't stop him from slinging mud

I personally believe that the car was torched by Labour supporters in an attempt to intimidate witnesses in the Election Court.... we have a "reasonable suspicion", but no more than that...

My response, as always, is - if you have evidence, then place it before the police or the courts. When this accusation was placed before a court, it was thrown out. Repeating it doesn't make it true.

To remind everyone. Paragraph 125 of the Commissioner's report deals with this simply:

A further incident should be noted to the discredit, I am afraid, of Mr Ayoub Khan. When he gave his evidence he clearly suggested as I have recorded above that Mr Afzal's supporters had burnt out a Range Rover belonging to one of Mr Afzal's supporters. In the light of how the case proceeded, this suggestion was clearly no more than an unpleasant, unsupported and unsubstantiated assertion directed against Mr Afzal.

1 comment:

john said...

What we have is a torched car and intimidated witnesses. That is insufficient evidence for a prosecution.

From the judgment:
"If (as to the propriety of which I express absolutely no opinion) a disciplinary case is pursued against him by the Bar Standards Board, the tribunal which determines whether he is in breach of the Barristers' Code of Conduct will look afresh at the facts. "