LBWF Chief Executive Martin Esom responds to my questions re the Cllr. Ahsan Khan affair

I post Mr. Esom’s responses below. Much of what he writes is self-evidently vague, and seems to have been written with the explicit aim of avoiding giving anything away, hardly appropriate in the light of the seriousness of both the events in question and the wider situation that we find ourselves in. Regarding the ‘community award’, I understand that LBWF is claiming that every visitor to the May... »

Extremism in Waltham Forest: a quick roundup of the recent lowpoints

It has been a busy few months on the extremism front in Waltham Forest, so here is a short roundup of the major stories that have been featured on this blog (links to the full versions are pasted beneath). The material of course largely speaks for itself. One point is important though. LBWF Chief Executive Martin Esom claims some expertise in counter-extremism work, and chairs the London Prevent B... »

The Cllr. Ahsan Khan affair: new revelations UPDATED

Harry’s Place has further revelations about the Cllr. Khan affair: It certainly does seem strange that a person who apparently feels the imagery pasted below is acceptable now finds himself honoured with a ‘community award’ by councillors, including Madam Mayor, on LBWF property. I’ve poin... »

Cllr. Ahsan Khan steps down amid talk of inadmissible intolerance UPDATED

Word reaches me that earlier in the week Labour councillors were circulated with an e-mail which announced that Cllr. Ahsan Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, had stepped down from the Cabinet, pending an independent investigation by the LBWF Monitoring Officer. What appears to have happened is that Cllr. Khan organised an event in the Town Hall, attended by the Mayor, which was then t... »

LWBF, Prevent, and the Lea Bridge Rd. Mosque

An interesting and very concerning report on the Lea Bridge Rd. Mosque has been published at the blog Harry’s Place: I have written to Martin Esom, LBWF Chief Executive, as follows: ‘Dear Mr. Esom, You no doubt will have seen the recent report on the Lea... »

LBWF’s policy on Prevent reaps what it sows…

In a recent post, I warned that LBWF’s Prevent strategy, and the secrecy that surrounds it, invite trouble. As if on cue, up pops the stage army of the Left, guided by the ubiquitous ‘red vicar’, Canon Stephen Saxby, with a meeting tonight aimed squarely at denunciation: The blog Harry’s Place does a public ser... »

Private Eye’s 2015 Rotten Borough’s Awards: LBWF triumphs again

Private Eye‘s annual Rotten Borough Awards are always a highpoint for local council watchers, and this year LBWF triumphs again, with no less than two citations, which read as follows: ‘COMBATING EXTREMISM: Until an undercover Channel 4 reporter discovered the truth, for two years Labour Waltham Forest council hired out a room for “ladies tea afternoons” to a group of burqa... »

LBWF’s Preventing Extremism Strategic Summary for 2015-16

Despite LBWF insisting that its Prevent programme should in general remain secret, it has recently divulged to me a nine-page ‘Preventing Extremism Strategic Summary’ for 2015-16, and this makes for interesting (if, as will be seen, ultimately dispiriting) reading. The document begins with some scattered remarks about the challenge to be faced. The current evidence, it states, ‘indicates that the ... »

LBWF in Private Eye again, this time over ISIS and Prevent

From Private Eye, no.1407, 11-18 December 2015:   »

LBWF and the fight against ISIS

As a previous post has indicated, there are serious questions to be asked about Waltham Forest’s attempts to confront local Islamist extremists. The record over the past decade has been at best mixed, and includes some embarrassing failures. The fact that LBWF will not discuss its current Prevent programme in any detail only adds to the sense that someone, somewhere is afraid of further revelation... »

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