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Labour county group adds voice to Ditta row
County Hall’s Labour group has urged the controlling Conservatives to suspend the politician and carry out a full inquiry into the infamous graveyard row.
As your Worcester News reported last week, Mr Ditta threatened to “dig up” a dead man’s body during a dispute with a grieving family at the city’s private Muslim cemetery.
The tirade, which was secretly recorded, started because he wants £400 from them for work he claims was done on preparing the grave. Mr Ditta, who was acting as a volunteer at the cemetery, is both a city and county councillor.
Councillor Richard Udall , deputy leader of the county’s Labour group, said: “We all make mistakes and say things we later regret, but the allegations against him are much more serious. We believe his conduct at the very least needs a full investigation.
“We need to send a clear message to the public that as political leaders we will not tolerate activity that could harm the reputation of all councillors.”
He has sent a letter to Coun Adrian Hardman, leader of the authority, urging him to “suspend Mr Ditta” and investigate the dispute, urging him to act “quickly and decisively”.
Mr Ditta’s bill was over the grave of Monuhor Ali, who died in June, aged 74.
The family say they are refusing to pay the bill because no work was done on the grave, which Mr Ditta denies.
The calls for an investigation comes only days after the city’s council’s Labour group said they had “no confidence” in him and attempted to have him removed as chairman of the Guildhall ’s Hopmarket sub-committee. Yesterday, Mr Ditta said: “I won’t be quitting anything, this is pie-in-the sky stuff.”
Coun Hardman has refused to investigate the incident, and said he believed it was “a city council issue”. “If the family complain to us, it will be investigated, but I think it’s a personal dispute,” he said.
Mr Ali’s family are copying Mr Ditta’s rant on to a CD and sending it to the city council and Worcester Conservative Association, along with formal letters of complaint.