A COUNCILLOR has denied claims she has been expelled from the Labour Party, saying she resigned in order to stand against it in the coming election.

Council and Labour leader Julian Bell released a statement saying Councillor Zahida Noori had been expelled from the Ealing Labour Party and is not fit for office, having breached the code of conduct four times.

Ms Noori said she has been bullied and she resigned from the party last month.

The Villiers High School governor and mother of two has been a councillor for more than 20 years and will stand against Labour candidates in Southall Broadway in the local elections on Thursday.

Almost 11,000 people signed a petition in support of her standing as an independent.

Mr Bell said: “Over the last few years Councillor Noori has shown a complete disregard for the council’s rules and code of conduct.

Cllr Zahida Noori being expelled from labour party claims she's victim of a smear campaign. The Broadway, Southall
 

“She is the only councillor I am aware of that has breached the code of conduct on four occasions.  Ms Noori was deemed unsuitable to represent the Labour Party as a councillor by a London Labour Party selection panel. We believe she is not fit for public office.”

Ms Noori replied: “I am shocked and deeply saddened by what Councillor Julian Bell has said. I would like to state clearly that I have at no time been expelled from the Labour party.

“I sent my resignation letter on April 22 following a series of injustices by the local Labour group who I believe have abused the system and contributed to my deselection in my ward candidacy for the 2014 elections.

“Mr Bell’s words are misleading and are no more than an attempt to distort my good image and damage my reputation.

“I am confident I will be re-elected and will continue to do the job that I have so passionately been doing for more than 20 years.”

Joe Bangu, one of Ms Noori’s supporters, said: “It is all lies. The council... obviously feel threatened by her popularity.

“Labour hasn’t got half a chance of winning this seat and they know it, which is why they are working so hard to discredit her.”