Drug bust councillor must resign and Labour should tell voters what they knew

According to a recent article published in the Daily Mail, a Haringey Labour Councillor and son of a Labour MP has been convicted of serious drug offences. Cllr Ishmael Osamor (West Green ward) pleaded guilty to possession and intent to supply drugs (including ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine and cannabis) at the Bestival Festival in Dorset. The drugs had an estimated street value of £2,500.

Although he has now resigned his Deputy Cabinet Member position for Broadwater Farm Resident Engagement following his sentencing - a position awarded to him by Haringey Labour in May this year, he has not resigned as a Haringey Councillor, or as Communications Officer for his mother, MP Kate Osamor.

The Haringey Liberal Democrat group, the sole opposition on Haringey Council, have called on Cllr Osamor to resign his seat and should he fail to do so, for the Labour group to remove the whip from him.

Cllr Liz Morris (LD – Highgate), leader of the opposition, comments:

“Cllr Osamor’s convictions are extremely serious and we are calling for him to resign as a Haringey councillor. Labour were elected in May on a Manifesto commitment to tackle the high level of crime in Haringey, much of it drug related. It is inconceivable that Cllr Osamor can remain a councillor in our borough.”

“Cllr Osamor was apparently already awaiting trial at the point when Haringey Labour selected him as a candidate. If they knew this, then they withheld vital information from residents before and after the recent council elections. If they didn’t know, they were careless with their processes and urgently need to tighten them up.”

Cllr Tammy Palmer, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the Tottenham constituency, said:

“Cllr Osamor’s case is not one of being caught with a small amount of drugs for recreational use. He was smuggling a large amount of drugs including cocaine, ketamine and ecstasy into a family friendly festival and admitted ‘intent to supply’. He should not be holding public office and Labour must call for him to resign from the Council.

“In both his capacity as a ward councillor and a Deputy Cabinet member, Cllr Osamor was supposed to be representing residents in Haringey, and in particular on Broadwater Farm where many of them face rehousing due to safety issues. It is unacceptable that his personal history is proving a distraction at this crucial time.”

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