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Councillors call for Allah Ditta to quit
ANGRY politicians have called for Allah Ditta to resign from his position as chairman of a council committee, saying they have “no confidence” in him.
Councillor Ditta, who threatened to dig up a dead man’s body during a row with a grieving family, was told by Worcester’s Labour group to step down as chairman of the city council’s Hopmarket sub-committee.
The committee manages the retail properties and apartments at the Hopmarket and is responsible for allocating more than £100,000 of income each year to needy causes.
During a tense meeting, at the Guildhall on Monday, Labour councillor Geoff Williams said “in view of the recent events” Coun Ditta could not command any confidence.
Mr Ditta was recently embroiled in a row with the family of a dead Muslim man, whose body he threatened to dig up if they did not pay him £400 for work he claims he did on the grave.
The family dispute the bill, claiming Mr Ditta has never carried out any work. The row erupted while Mr Ditta was acting as a volunteer for Worcester’s Muslim Cemetery committee, and not as a city councillor.
But Coun Williams said: “I’ve always believed, when you become a councillor, you should always demonstrate high standards of transparency and probity, whether you are acting on behalf of the council or not.
“Frankly, given the events of last week I’m surprised you are here chairing this – I’ve seen your apology, but there are clearly a large number of questions which have been raised for you to answer.
“I would urge you to take some time out to consider your position.”
Coun Ditta responded: “This is just mischief making by the Labour Party, I won’t accept that.”
However, a motion of no confidence by Coun Williams could not be voted on following advice from the council’s head of legal services, Doreen Porter, who pointed out that it wasn’t up to the committee to sack Coun Ditta as he had been appointed to his role by full council.
During the debate, Conservative councillor Jabba Riaz said he thought it was “very sad” but three of his fellow party colleagues, Gareth Jones, Stephen Hodgson and David Tibbutt , remained silent.
As your Worcester News first reported last week, Mr Ditta was secretly recorded threatening to “dig up” the body of Monuhor Ali at the city’s Muslim cemetery.
Mr Ali’s family are in the process of sending a complaint to the city council about his behaviour.