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Labour guns fire on Tower Hamlets defector for joining Tories

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:38 05 October 2010

Dr Ali yesterday... accused of ego before principles’

Dr Ali yesterday... accused of ego before principles’

Carmen Valino

THE London GP who has quit as the Labour council cabinet member for health at Tower Hamlets and defected to the Tories has been accused of putting her ego above principles. Furious Labour top guns rounded in on Dr Amwara Ali in a two-prong attack by London regional HQ and her own Town Hall leader

By Mike Brooke

THE London GP who has quit as the Labour council cabinet member for health at Tower Hamlets and defected to the Tories has been accused this morning of putting her ego above principles.

Furious Labour top guns rounded in on Dr Amwara Ali, who quit last night as head of health policy on the local authority, in a two-prong attack by London regional HQ and her own Town Hall leader.

They accused her of switching corners because she wasn’t selected for a safe Labour seat for the forthcoming local council elections on May 6.

“It is sad that Dr Ali has put her personal ego ahead of her principles,” said a statement from regional HQ.

“Dr Ali was unsuccessful in her application to be our candidate in her preferred ward.

“Her reaction joining Cameron’s Conservatives will do nothing to improve the lives of her patients in the East End.”

Dr Ali was one of only two women in council leader Lutfur Rahman’s cabinet which controls the East End’s £1 billion budget.

Cllr Rahman fired his own salvo in a prepared Town Hall statement saying: “We are disappointed that Cllr Ali has chosen to resign the Labour whip and join the party of service cuts for those who need our help and tax cuts for the rich.”

But the GP from Spitalfields, in the heart of the East End’s deprived Bangladeshi community, is thought to be unhappy being told to take on George Galloway’s Respect party in Shadwell on May 6.

She was being switched from Bow West to take on Respect in their stronghold and was not offered Spitalfields where she practices and where she is well-known.

Dr Ali, at briefing in Brick Lane yesterday, spoke of Labour’s failures on health reform which led to her decision.

“The country cannot afford five more years of Gordon Brown,” she said.

“I have become disillusioned as a GP with Labour’s failure to reform the NHS. The past decade has seen this Government waste millions on hospital bureaucracy.

“Gordon Brown’s obsession with targets and a tick box’ culture has ruined the morale and goodwill of NHS staff.”

She was chosen as a GP in the Spitalfields Practice to front the NHS campaign to persuade Bengali-speaking women to sign up to breast screening programmes two years ago.

Tory bosses cock-a-hoop at her defection are putting her back to fight her present Bow West seat against Labour’s current deputy council leader Josh Peck.


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