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Prospective election candidates respond after being dropped by Slough Tories

LIVE: General election 2019 in Slough

Two prospective candidates have spoken out after being dropped by the Slough Conservatives ahead of the upcoming local elections.

Adil Iftakhar had been due to contest a council seat in Langley St Mary’s ward in May.

But he faced calls to resign his Tory candidacy from the Slough Labour Group over claims he is trying to hold out for a ‘seven figure sum’ for a flat on the soon-to-be demolished Ashbourne House.

Labour councillors said the council had offered Mr Iftakhar nearly double the flat’s market value of £270,000 but this offer was rejected, meaning the council had to secure a compulsory purchase order for the property.

Mr Iftakhar denied he has requested a seven-figure sum for the property and told the Express that the scheme proposed is not in the public interest.

He added he has refused all offers as he does not want to move away from his home and accused the council of ‘making life difficult’ for him due to the stand-off.

His father, Iftakhar Ahmed, had been due to stand for the Slough Conservatives in Wexham Lea ward.

Councillor Wayne Strutton told the Express his candidacy has been withdrawn for failing to disclose all necessary information during the application process to stand in Slough.

Earlier this week, Mr Ahmed had come under fire from the Labour Group, which put out a statement drawing attention to a conviction he received for conspiracy to commit violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon in 1989.

In response, Mr Ahmed hit out at the Labour Group for bringing up the conviction.

He said he was ‘no longer the same person that I was back then’ and pointed to numerous roles he has since held with voluntary organisations, statutory bodies and within the Labour Group.

He added: “I have served the community and will continue to do so without any intimidation, bullying and fear from the Labour Party’s smear campaign.”

Mherunisa Hussain, chairman of the Slough Conservatives, said in a statement: “Following notification of the allegations made by the Slough Labour Party, regarding Adil Iftakhar, as chairman of the Slough Conservative Association I launched a comprehensive investigation to ascertain the full facts of the investigation.

“As is required under procedure, this matter was subsequently referred to Slough Conservatives Approvals Committee, which voted to remove Adil Iftakhar and Iftakhar Ahmed (Wexham Lea) as prospective candidates for the upcoming elections on Thursday, May 6.”

This week has also seen a war of words continue between council leader James Swindlehurst and independent councillor Madhuri Bedi, who left the Labour Group in early March in a row over the council’s 4.99 per cent rise in council tax bills.

A petition has since been launched calling for Cllr Swindlehurst’s resignation in protest at Cllr Bedi’s treatment.

Cllr Swindlehurst has stood by his comments, while Cllr Bedi has refuted claims residents in her Foxborough ward are ‘disappointed’ she left Labour.

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