A FORMER Labor Board boss has been accused of sending a ‘racist and Islamophobic’ email.
Cllr Miles Parkinson, who sensationally quit the party in March saying it was ‘unpleasant, bullying and vindictive’ but remains Hyndburn council leader as an independent, does not deny sending the e -email in February 2014.
He describes four Muslim Labor colleagues – Cllrs Munsif Dad, Noordad Aziz, Abdul Khan and Mohammed Ayub – as “sectarian” and “dangerous”.
A Hyndburn Labor Party spokesman called on Cllr Parkinson to step down as Borough Leader saying: ‘There is no place for racism and Islamophobia in society.
Cllr Parkinson refused to apologize for the content of the email and said: “I don’t regret sending it.”
The email appeared just days before Hyndburn’s annual council meeting where the Altham adviser hopes to win a Labor challenge to his leadership with backing from the Tories and other independent advisers – the former Labor councilor Eamonn Higgins and former Conservative Pat McGinley.
The authority is currently suspended after local elections left it with 17 Labor councilors against 14 Tories, three independents and a vacancy in the very marginal Overton ward of Great Harwood.
As the May 5 poll approached, Hyndburn’s Labor Party was hit by a string of resignations.
Cllr Parkinson’s email, part of internal discussions about the selection of candidates for local elections, says: “We have two groups.
“Sour grapes and off-team players that we bend over backwards but behave as they see fit, Clare, Tim, etc.
“And then the dangerous group Munsif, Noordad, Abdul, Ayub who want raw power to get things just for their community and their dangerous bigoted religious views.
“Best wishes Miles.”
A Hyndburn Labor spokesperson said: ‘The local party is deeply shocked by the community hatred in this email.
“There is no place for racism and Islamophobia in society. Anyone who holds such views has no place in politics.
“The council must act and the leader of the council must resign immediately.”
When asked if he wanted to apologize for the content of the email sent from his personal account, Cllr Parkinson declined.
He said: “Whatever emails were released were appropriate at the time.
“Nobody raised any issues about them at that time.
“I don’t regret sending it.
“It’s no different than a lot of other groups where opinions were sent at that time.
“The email is not at all racist or Islamophobic.”
Cllr Ayub and Cllr Khan declined to comment on the email, Cllr Dad and Cllr Aziz were approached for comment.