06:14PM, Wednesday 24 March 2021
A Conservative candidate has been called to resign his candidacy or to be removed after being accused of 'holding the Slough taxpayer to ransom' by Labour.
Adil Iftakhar, who will be standing as the Conservative candidate for Langley St Mary’s in May’s election, has been urged to resign his candidacy by Slough Labour, alleging he his 'derailing' the council’s plans to build 193 social and affordable homes on the site of Tower and Ashbourne Houses in Chalvey.
Mr Iftakhar has denied these allegations.
The Labour Group allege the Conservative candidate is trying to claim a 'seven figure sum' for a flat on the land worth £270,000.
The allegations go further, which Labour claims council tax records show he has never lived in the property. Mr Iftakhar, again, denies both statements, and said he has never asked for such a sum and does live at the property.
According to the Labour Group, the council offered Mr Iftakhar nearly double the flat’s market value but was rejected, prompting in bringing in a compulsory purchase order, which forces homeowners to sell up if their property obstructs a regeneration project, against him to secure the site last October.
Councillor Christine Hulme, chair of the Slough Labour group, said she was 'appalled' by the Conservative Group for choosing Mr Iftakhar to represent them, calling it a 'new low' for the Tories.
She said: “Adil Iftakhar’s greed is depriving the town of hundreds of new social and affordable homes and costing Slough taxpayers millions of pounds in legal fees and increased build costs as a result of his desire to profit at the expense of Slough residents.”
In response, Adil Iftakhar said these 'untrue' allegations were a 'personal attack' on him and denied he has ever requested a 'seven-figure sum'.
He said he has refused all offers made to him for his property as he did not want to move away from his home.
Mr Iftakhar said: “Another blatant lie is that I’m demanding '1 per cent on the council tax bill for every home in Slough' this is an absolute ludicrous statement to make. As I do not want to move away from my home, furthermore, I do pay council tax and live there.”
He also hit out against Labour’s Tower and Ashbourne Houses scheme, claiming its 'undeliverable' as the council does not have the finances to cover it, he alleges.
Mherunisa Hussain, chair of the Slough Conservative Association, said: “I would like to thank Slough Labour Group for bringing this matter to my attention. At this moment in time, we are not in possession of full facts, however following notification of the allegations made against Adil Iftakhar, I swiftly launched a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
“As chairman I fervently believe in speaking truth to power and I am dedicated to restoring decency to public office in Slough.
“Once our investigation has been concluded, the final decision regarding Adil Iftakhar’s candidacy will be voted on by the executive committee, as per the procedure, later this week, after which I will provide a full update on the matter at the earliest opportunity.”
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