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Allah Ditta facing calls to quit two roles
The politician’s future will have to be debated under the glare of the entire council after the city’s Labour group submitted a motion calling for him to be forced out.
The group wants Coun Ditta to resign – claiming his actions have “brought the council into disrepute” and embarrassed colleagues.
During a row at the city’s private Muslim cemetery he threatened to dig up the body of Monuhor Ali, who died in June aged 74, over a £400 bill for graveyard work.
Mr Ali’s family have refused to pay it as they say Coun Ditta has done no work on the grave, a claim he denies.
The motion calls upon him to “resign immediately” from his two council roles, firstly as vice-chairman of the audit committee, and secondly as chairman of the Hopmarket sub-committee.
The first panel keeps an eye on the council’s finances, while the second one involves managing the affairs of the Hopmarket, a shopping precinct which the authority owns.
Coun Adrian Gregson , the leader of the city’s Labour group, said: “Everywhere we go, when we’re talking to people on the streets, they are saying ‘you’ve got to get him out’.
“These are two important roles and we feel he has brought the council into disrepute.
“A number of people said to us ‘it’s typical of councillors’ – we are all being tarnished by this, a bit like MPs expenses.
“He knows the way to behave and he’s let us all down.”
For the motion to succeed it will need a majority of votes from the 35 councillors, of which 17 are Conservative, 15 are Labour, two are Liberal Democrats and one is Green.
Worcester’s Conservatives have vowed to stick by him on the basis that when he abused the family he was acting as a volunteer at the cemetery, and not a city councillor.
Coun Simon Geraghty, the leader, said: “We’ll have this debate and discussion on Tuesday, but not before then.”
The police are also investigating the circumstances of the incident after being contacted by the family.
Coun Ditta has already rejected calls to resign and has vowed to “carry on working for the community”.