Barnett v. Dhedi: the denouement UPDATED

Regular readers of this blog will remember my earlier post describing a spat between Cllr. Peter Barnett and Cllr. Shabana Dhedi (sometimes Shabana Qadir), the essence of which apparently revolved around a late night Facebook exchange, the possible excuses that could be made for the Charlie Hebdo murderers, and some intemperate Anglo-Saxon. What was an obvious molehill soon became a mountain, with the on-cue involvement of sundry third parties, the parading of bruised feelings, and impassioned accusations of racism and ‘Islamophobia’. The upshot? Cllr. Barnett found himself suspended from the Labour whip, pending an investigation.

That investigation has now happened, and Cllr. Barnett is restored to his colleagues. However, I understand that no-one seems any happier. Cllr. Barnett has apologised, though only in words that were written for him. His supporters are furious that Cllr. Robbins, the Leader, throughout offered so little support. Meanwhile, Cllr. Qadir is equally upset, for almost exactly the same reasons, magnified by the fact that she imagined herself to have some special status as a favoured daughter.

All in all, it’s yet another reminder of how Cllr. Robbins’ power to control the warring Labour factions is now hanging by a rather thin thread.


The Waltham Forest Guardian online has just picked up this story, and interviewed Cllr. Peter Barnett, who points out ‘“…I want to make it clear…I was cleared of all charges. I was cleared of racism, I was cleared of Islamophobia”’, a stance which the newspaper backs up by underlining that ‘Labour’s Len Duvall’, who carried out the investigation, found ‘“no case to answer”’.

One puzzle remains. It is certainly strange, as the sage ‘MDJ’ comments in the box under the Guardian story, that neither party has ever released an unedited version of the original Facebook exchange which fuelled the spat. Such reticence is all the more perplexing as in his initial defence (for which see the ‘documents’ section of this site) Cllr. Barnett claimed that Cllr. Dhedi had provoked his ire by posting a ‘”long diatribe”‘ which was ‘clearly an attempt to justify the murders of the Charlie hebdo [sic] cartoonists in Paris’.

Either this allegation is true or it isn’t, and surely the public deserves to know who to believe? Thus, an early publication of the Facebook exchange now appears more and more of a must.

1 Comment

  1. Truth & Lies - August 12, 2015, 1:55 pm

    In reality Cllr Robbins has very little control of anyone in the Labour Group anymore, the real power is Clyde Loakes, who seems to be able to do whatever he wants with impunity and who is never, ever, held to account for his myriad previous failures, many of them detailed on this Blog. Nobody, not even the Labour Group, voted for the return of Loakes as de facto Leader so this is about as undemocratic a power grab as is possible in Waltham Forest. Loakes really is the Teflon Cllr.

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