WALSALL: Councillor cleared of Islamophobia accusations
PIC: Walsall Council.
A stalwart Walsall Labour councillor who was accused of Islamophobia has been cleared following an investigation.
Blakenall ward councillor Ian Robertson had a six-month administrative suspension following the allegations which centred around a social media post he made.
But the suspension was lifted at the end of September after party officials concluded their inquiry and he is now fully reinstated.
Councillor Robertson has always refuted the allegations but said he is now looking forward to carrying on as “normal”, which will include returning to Pakistan later this year to hold health clinics and see how projects he has been involved in are developing.
The social media post on March saw Councillor Robertson – who was been an elected member for 22 years – post a photo and full address of a house suspected of breaking Covid rules.
It was followed up with him saying: “Annoyed as had to not hold any funeral for my uncle who died in Covid. This family has no right to break rules. Same for Muslims who also sometimes break the number rules.”
This prompted an official complaint to the party which resulted in the suspension and investigation.
Councillor Robertson said: “I shall look forward rather than chewing over what has happened in the past but I’m pleased that this has happened.
“I’m probably the least likely person to be guilty of Islamophobia. I’m off to Pakistan in a few weeks time to do some more voluntary work and run some eye camps.
“I’ve done this on six or seven occasions in the past. I will also look at schools we’ve rebuilt, visit places where we’ve installed water supplies so I’ll be pleased to renew my acquaintances over there.
“I look forward to continuing and working as normal.”
Regional Labour said it couldn’t comment on individual cases but a spokesman said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures.”
Words: Gurdip Thandi, Local Democracy Reporter
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