A POLITICAL row has broken out amid allegations of “gross hypocrisy” over a Wyre Forest district and Worcestershire county councillor joining the Labour Party.

Mumshad Ahmed was elected as a Conservative but had the Tory whip withdrawn in June, 2009 after being convicted for driving while disqualified and without insurance.

He was given a 12-week sentence, suspended for one year, subject to him carrying out 200 hours of unpaid community work, and was also banned from driving for two years.

Having sat on the council as an Independent, he has now joined the Labour Party, prompting Tory councillors to slam now senior Labour members who were critical of Mr Ahmed at the time of his disgrace.

They include councillor Howard Martin – then group leader of Independent Community and Health Concern on the district council – who called for Mr Ahmed to resign.

Conservative John Campion, county and district councillor, said: “I wish no ill to councillor Ahmed.

“I believed he was punished by the courts and subsequently left the Conservative Party as he was unable to maintain the standards of behaviour expected of him.

“Councillors who are now senior Labour figures were very critical at the time, calling for him to resign.

“It now seems gross hypocrisy.”

Mr Martin retorted that the Labour Party was a party of “understanding and forgiveness” and that once someone had been punished for an “indiscretion” they should start with a clean sheet.

Jamie Shaw, leader of the Labour Group on the district council, said: “My fellow councillors and I welcome Mumshad. As with all councillors who join from other political parties, or from Independent status, he will enjoy the full rights and responsibilities of group membership.

“We look forward to working with him as an advocate for both his local area and for the Labour values of community and care.”

Mr Ahmed said: “I am delighted to join the Labour Party. Locally and nationally, I stand for the same beliefs and opinions as Labour, which is now the only party fighting for the ordinary, hard-working people of this country.”