Let me introduce you to Councillor Ayoub Khan. He is a Lib Dem Councillor and Cabinet Member on Birmingham City Council and the Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Birmingham Ladywood. It seems that he is someone who creates wholly untrue accusations against his political enemies. He is facing a possible professional investigation by the Bar Standards Board that could result in his suspension as a barrister.
What has he done?
- He falsely accused a fellow Councillor of witness intimidation. Elections Commissioner, Timothy Straker QC, described that as 'sordid.'
- He also accused his political opponents of setting fire to an ally's Land Rover. Mr Straker QC described that one as 'unpleasant and unsubstantiated.'
- When he appealed the decision in the High Court last week according to the Birmingham Post today, "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."
Now, this is a man who will apparently stop at nothing to smear his political opponents and his tactics have been laid bare in the High Court. He is a very senior Liberal Democrat in Birmingham. I have been struck by Nick Clegg's robust response to recent political scandals. Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham's Labour Group, has written him a letter in which he quoted the intrepid Liberal Democrat leader:
“We don’t need to wait for months for a report to tell us what to do. We just need to do what’s right. If politicians can’t manage that much they can wave public trust goodbye."
Hear, hear. So Nick Clegg, what exactly are you waiting for? Councillor Ayoub Khan has reached the end of the political road: sack him from Birmingham's Cabinet, de-select him as a Councillor, de-select him as your candidate in Birmingham Ladywood and kick him out of your party. This more than anything else you have faced is a test of your credibility.