Man exposed for deceit chosen as Lib Dem candidate for Bamford!
Date published: 23 February 2008
In an astonishing, and most likely self-defeating move, the Lib Dems have chosen the man they recently 'sacked' as local vice-chairman for deceit as their candidate for Bamford ward in the forthcoming local elections!
Mohammed Shafiq was forced to resign as vice-chairman of Rochdale Liberal Democrats in January following comments described by his party colleagues as "misleading and false".
The deceit, on the Rochdale Online Forum, was said to have made Mr Shafiq's position as Lib Dem vice-chairman "untenable", indeed such were the concerns that moves were believed to be afoot to have Mr Shafiq thrown out of the Liberal Democrat party, however that is clearly no longer the case.
As well as being guilty of deceit - by using a false identity (Deeplish Lad) to praise himself and criticise his Lib Dem colleagues, the town's MP Paul Rowen and Lib Dem councillor for Milkstone and Deeplish Mohamed Sharif! - Shafiq mounted an extraordinary attack on another of his party colleagues, Councillor Elwyn Watkins, by publishing on his web site an accusation that Councillor Watkins is a "racist" and using "tricks from the BNP handbook" - a move said by Lib Dem sources to be "the final straw".
Opposition parties are incredulous at the selection.
Labour campaign organiser Matt Baker said: "'Deeplish Lad' (aka Shafiq) is a Lib Dem candidate in the local elections, thus making a mockery of the Lib Dems phoney moral outrage."
Former Bamford Ward councillor Ian Duckworth, now Conservative Political Deputy for Heywood and Middleton constituency said: "The Lib Dems had a decent prospective candidate but he dropped out".
Despite the Lib Dems choosing Shafiq as a candidate, Lib Dem agent Dave Hennigan has publicly condemned 'Deeplish Lad' (aka Shafiq), as has Councillor Elwyn Watkins who said: "Such behaviour is dishonest and should not be tolerated", which makes Shafiq's selection all the more puzzling.
Rochdale Online has been told 'off the record' that Shafiq's selection was "forced through" in the ward by Councillor William Hobhouse during the time he was seriously at odds with his Lib Dem party having been 'sacked' from the Council Cabinet.
Privately, Lib Dems concede they have zero chance of winning the seat with a candidate recently exposed for being deceitful, one saying: “Jane Gartside [the Conservative councillor defending her seat] must be rubbing her hands.”
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