Apr 29 2013
The Labour Party is embroiled in a race row after a prospective female councillor, Elaina Cohen, was allegedly told by Labour councillor Mahmood Hussain that he would not support her application for an inner-city ward because “My Muslim members don’t want you because you are too Jewish and too white to be considered.”
UK Daily Mail (h/t Elizabeth B) Mrs Cohen, 50 (photo left), has made an official complaint about the alleged remarks made by Mr Hussain, a Muslim and former lord mayor of Birmingham. She said: ‘I am shocked and upset that a member of the Labour Party in this day and age could even think something like that, let alone say it. If someone in the party feels I cannot represent them because of my colour or religion, that’s ridiculous. ‘I felt particularly aggrieved because I have worked across all sections of the community, particularly with the Muslim section, and have been on official visits to Pakistan.’ Mrs Cohen had applied to stand as a Labour councillor for the Birmingham ward of East Handsworth and Lozells, which has a high Muslim population.
As one of Labour’s safest seats on Tory-led Birmingham city council, the final candidate would be almost certain of victory at the June 4 by-election. ‘Elaina then asked him if he had talked to his Muslim members about it and he said, “I don’t want to talk about it with you” and hung up.
Instead, members were presented with one candidate, black South African Hendrina Quinnen, who was selected by an almost unanimous vote.