Lutfur Ali, one of the key figures in the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe/ East London Mosque’s influence over Tower Hamlets Council, has tonight resigned, the council confirmed. Mr Ali was the second most powerful officer on the council and his departure is a major blow to the fundamentalists. The IFE’s opponents are overjoyed. “This is the tipping point,” says Badrul Islam, one of the main local opponents of the group.
Mr Ali, a close associate of the IFE, was appointed assistant chief executive of the council on £125,000 a year despite a negative headhunter report and a misleading CV. He featured heavily in my Channel 4 Dispatches documentary on fundamentalist infiltration into London politics.
As we reported, Mr Ali has been accused of moonlighting for other employers – who only realised when they saw him in our documentary. Questions will be raised over whether the council was right to allow him to resign. Shouldn’t he have been sacked? And is he getting a payoff or any other benefits?
More to follow on this story later – a full statement from the council is expected within the hour. And I may also post on a completely ridiculous statement issued today by those celebrated champions of “moderation and tolerance,” the East London Mosque. Watch this space.