No Respect: Shokat Ali defects to Labour

Councillor Shokat Ali, the last remaining Respect Party councillor in Birmingham, has defected and joined the Labour Party, just two months before he has to stand for re-election to his council seat.
He was elected as councillor for the Sparkbrook ward in 2009, and his four-year term of office ends in May.
His defection means that Labour now has 57 of Birmingham’s 120 council seats. The Council has been ruled by a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition since 2004.
At the Sparkbrook by-election in September 2009, the Labour Party and the Respect Party received over 75% of the votes cast. It was an election marred by controversy.
Police were called in to investigate allegations of postal vote rigging, and 369 voting papers were eventually rejected.


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