London Assembly Member, Murad Qureshi, has announced that he is withdrawing from the Standards Sub-Committee that is considering a complaint against the British National Party’s London Assembly Member, Richard Barnbrook.
In a statement issued today, Murad said:
"I have agreed, with some reluctance, to withdraw from the Hearing Sub-Committee of the London Assembly Standards Committee that is considering a complaint against BNP London Assembly Member and Barking & Dagenham councillor Richard Barnbrook.
"This is the result of an objection to my membership of the Sub-Committee by Mr Barnbrook, on the grounds that I am ‘a consistent, forthright and bitter critic of the BNP’ and have attacked him personally on my blog. He implies that I am not able to hear the case without prejudging its outcome.
"The complaint against Mr Barnbrook does not however concern his membership of a fascist party or its racist politics, both of which I have publicly condemned. It arises from his statement in September 2008 that two people had been murdered on the streets of Barking & Dagenham, when this was not in fact true. I am of course capable of judging this case on its merits, regardless of his or my other views.
"However, I have received legal advice that because of comments I have previously made about Mr Barnbrook, there may be legal grounds for an appeal if the Sub-Committee were to uphold the complaint against Mr Barnbrook. For that reason I have decided to stand down from the Sub-Committee."