Redbridge Council leader reinstated to Labour Party after 11-month suspension ‘ordeal’

Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal has announced he is no longer suspended from the Labour party after being “cleared of any wrongdoing”.

The Mayfield councillor was suspended from the party on October 4 last year over “extremely serious allegations”.

His suspension took place hours before the party was due to select the MP candidate for the Ilford South constituency, a role that then went to current MP Sam Tarry.

Cllr Athwal has created a petition calling for an “independent investigation” into the handling of his case by the Labour party.

In a statement today, he said: “I’m relieved this ordeal is over but, words can’t describe the hell my family and I have been through at the hands of the Labour Party over this past year.

“I have felt tortured and betrayed by the party that I have loved and served for more than a decade.

“Words cannot express the love and gratitude I feel for those who’ve supported me, not least my wonderful family and close friends.

“Throughout this ordeal, I’ve maintained the support of the Redbridge Labour group, Wes Streeting MP and party members across Redbridge.

“I’m proud to be the leader of the London borough of Redbridge and proud to have led Labour to two historic victories in our borough, bucking the national trend.”

In his statement, Cllr Athwal also voiced his explicit support for the current Labour leader Keir Starmer and encouraged the party to create an “independent complaints process”.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter