TH Momentum manoeuvres to get Lutfur Rahman’s ex-PA lined up for Labour safe seat

Interesting little story in the Standard today about the Labour Party forcing All-Women Shortlists (AWS) on constituency parties. For some odd reason Vauxhall wanted a AWS but did not get one whereas an AWS was imposed on Poplar and Limehouse.

Apsana Begum

Odd huh? Unless you look at it from the point of view of Labour’s latest party-within-a-party, Momentum, who have been angling for an AWS for the sole purpose of getting Apsana Begum positioned as the Labour candidate for the safe Labour seat when Jim Fitzpatrick MP retires at the next election.

Apsana who?

Moley had no idea either and had to search the interwebs for some mention of her. As his claws clattered on the keyboard he tried to remember Apsana Begum having any political visibility in the borough recently.

Or even just visibility. But his mole brain could think of nothing. But then he is a mole.

Doesn’t seem that Apsana even has a job. Anyone know what she does for a living?

Tower Hamlets Labour Party members not happy

To say that long-standing members of Tower Hamlets Labour Party are furious about Momentum’s fun and games at their expense is a gross under-statement.

Many are seething that a political non-entity such as Apsana Begum should be handed a safe seat on a plate when they have been hitting the doorsteps in all weathers and campaigning hard for years is rightly regarded as a kick in the teeth for them.

But if that is what Jeremy wants then that is what Jeremy gets it would seem.

A woman of few political achievements

After much searching Moley dug up a few morsels. It seems Apsana’s only political achievement to date seems to be that ’In 2017, I became the first British Bangladeshi woman Secretary of the Tower Hamlets Labour Party.’ [PDF]

Uh huh. Not exactly striding the world stage of politics, is it?

Extract from Apsana Begum’s Facebook page (since deleted)

Then Mole found this little gem from March this year relating to a Facebook post that Aspana shared way back in 2017 New London Labour official shared “Zionist masters” post. As is routine whenever politicians are caught out by their social media history Apsana said that “I’m committed to fighting antisemitism both inside the Labour Party and in wider society.”

Still nothing of substance. Moley got his extra strong shovel out and did some serious digging and finally found something interesting!

PA to Lutfur – or Admin Officer?

It seems Apsana was self-styled ‘Personal Assistant’ to ex-Mayor Lutfur Rahman and ex-Councillor Ohid Ahmed in the Mayor’s Office during 2012 although her official job title was ‘Admin Officer (agency temp) as you can see from the document extract below:

Staff list Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Office February 2012

Moley asked around and it seems Apsana is still very much a Lutfur (and Ohid) fan. Bless.

To what extent her faith in the ex-Mayor will have on the constituency if she should become the next MP for Poplar and Limehouse is anyone’s guess.

Could be interesting to find out. Or catastrophic.

Momentum Councillors

Labour Councillors associated with Momentum according to their Register of Interest (yes we know but it’s all we have!) are:

  • Councillor Amina Ali (Bow East), Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing
  • Councillor Tarik Khan (St Peter’s)
  • Councillor Eve McQuillan (Bethnal Green)
  • Councillor Puru Miah (Mile End)
  • Councillor Gabriela Salva Macallan (St Peter’s)

Five? Only five? Doesn’t seem right does it? Must be more than that.

If Apsana does become the Labour / Momentum candidate for Poplar and Limehouse it will be interesting to see how long it takes before Momentum becomes the party-within-party to join.

About ten minutes Mole reckons.

You can follow Apsana Begum on Twitter @IamApsanaBegum or on Facebook or indeed both!

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