Top Tory quits council chamber with legal threat to party colleagues

Published: 27 Mar 2012 19:0025 comments

Exclusive

LEADING Tory politician Jamie Chowdhary's feud with his own party exploded tonight when he walked out of the Reading Borough Council chamber after pledging to take legal action against some of his colleagues.

Cllr Jamie Chowdhary pictured adding his support to the Chronicle Accelerator Appeal because his life was saved by his treatment at the Royal Berkshire Hospital

Cllr Jamie Chowdhary pictured adding his support to the Chronicle Accelerator Appeal because his life was saved by his treatment at the Royal Berkshire Hospital

Cllt Chowdhary, who was deselected by Reading East Tories last autumn to prevent him standing for re-election in Peppard ward this May, was given permission by the Mayor Deborah Edwards to speak before the start of tonight's full council meeting at the Civic Centre.

Sounding highly emotional Cllr Chowdhary expressed disappointment at the conduct of senior colleagues and Reading East Tory MP Rob Wilson since the decision to deselect him was taken.

He told the council he plans to sue members of the local Conservative Party but did not name names, before leaving the chamber to a standing ovation from Labour and Green party members and his Peppard ward Tory colleague Mark Ralph, with the rest of the Conservatives remaining silently in their seats.

Full story in Thursday's Chronicle.

Jump to first paragraph.

Comments

Have your say - post a comment on this article

Registered users log in here
If you are registered with us, you can login here. If you are not registered, please do so now. Once logged in you wont have to complete word verification each time you post.

  • Gareth Epps
    Unregistered User
    Mar 27, 21:04
    Report abuse

    I have the greatest respect for Jamie who did an excellent job chairing Scrutiny last year when I was very proud to work with him.

    I wouldn't call it a 'feud': from what I'm aware there has been something of a witch-hunt against Jamie and some of his colleagues by the hapless Reading East MP and others.

    Still, adds a bit of spice to the start of election season!

    Recommend?   Yes 125     No 24

  • Mustafa Chaudhary
    Unregistered User
    Mar 27, 21:34
    Report abuse

    I have immense respect for Jamie. The residents of Peppard Ward have lost a totally committed and extremely hardworking Councillor. What a waste! There are clearly some in the Tory group whose so-called 'compassionate conservatism' is nothing but sheepskin clothing to conceal their nastiness. Apologies if that sounds a bit strong, but this was a man fighting for his life and he was kicked relentlessly and unashamedly when he was down.

    Recommend?   Yes 123     No 25

  • Donna
    Unregistered User
    Mar 27, 22:38
    Report abuse

    Jamie is a well respected councillor - what a shame the conservatives have not supported his reelection. Such a shame for the residents of Peppard that internal politics takes priority over what is right for them.

    Recommend?   Yes 112     No 24

  • Katy
    Unregistered User
    Mar 27, 22:46
    Report abuse

    Jamie has been treated despicably by members of his own party. He has served his constituents quietly, loyally and effectively through a period of ill health. It would be hard to find a nicer, kinder, more loyal man. Shame on you RECA and those that have sought to sully his good reputation.

    Recommend?   Yes 113     No 25

  • Alex
    Unregistered User
    Mar 27, 23:21
    Report abuse

    What a joke our election system is if only there was some better way that allowed as many candidates from a party as wanted to stand to stand, without worrying about splitting the votes and all losing out. Oh wait...

    Recommend?   Yes 109     No 9

  • Democracy
    Unregistered User
    Mar 27, 23:38
    Report abuse

    So let me get this straight Reading Conservatives held a selection. They decided to pick a different person. Isn't this called democracy?!?

    Always interesting to see what happens after, in this case he spits his dummy out of his pram, issues legal threats all over the place, and some people think he's a decent man? Sounds like they dodged something far worse.

    Recommend?   Yes 34     No 117

  • JamesA
    Unregistered User
    Mar 27, 23:54
    Report abuse

    @Democracy My understanding was that the Tories launched a systematic attack on him, through intimidation, false allegations and wasting police time by telling them that he was a homophobe - thats not a deselection.

    Frankly I think the conservatives are going to be hit hard this May and by the looks of what they are doing they thoroughly deserve it.

    Recommend?   Yes 113     No 26

  • Cllr Goodall
    Unregistered User
    Mar 27, 23:59
    Report abuse

    The standing ovation was well deserved. His speech was very emotional and shocking.

    Jamie is a great person and I had a lot of time for him and he was an inspiration to me as a cllr. I enjoyed working with him and Cllr Skeats last year - we made a good team. Jamie was also an amazing councillor, known and liked by his consituents.

    He will be dearly missed on the council.

    Recommend?   Yes 110     No 36

  • Will
    Unregistered User
    Mar 28, 09:16
    Report abuse

    @Gareth Epps

    What happened to "infelicitous"? :P

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 5

  • WilliamM
    Unregistered User
    Mar 28, 09:29
    Report abuse

    It was not Reading East CA that deselected him, it was the Peppard Ward Conservative Association. The Conservative party delegates power down to the lowest level with candidate selection, and does not interfere in anyway as it is exceedingly difficult to rig a secret ballot.

    I am not sure if the Lib Dems, Labour or the Greens do this (i am sure Gareth Epps will confirm how they do it) but to attack the Reading East Conservatives who did not deselect him in the first place is a bit rich and over the top.

    Recommend?   Yes 27     No 99

  • Tahir
    20 posts
    Mar 28, 09:35
    Report abuse

    I want to offer my support to Jamie as well simply because he is a good guy who worked very hard as a cllr. and didn't deserved to be treated in this manber by people he once called friends..... well thats the Tories for you

    Recommend?   Yes 134     No 26

  • Readinger
    2 posts
    Mar 28, 09:46
    Report abuse

    Another sad day in the history of Tories, losing one of their fewer hardest working colleagues, and in this manner... Let's hope this does not wipe out Tories from the Council next election as they have been good opposition for some 25 years (but 1).

    Recommend?   Yes 106     No 21

  • Katy
    Unregistered User
    Mar 28, 12:52
    Report abuse

    @ the Peppard Ward CA - isn't their chairman selected by RECA? It would be interesting to know how many people stood for this post when that selection took place.

    Recommend?   Yes 93     No 15

  • Khan
    Unregistered User
    Mar 28, 13:25
    Report abuse

    Jamie Chowdhary was one of a few quality councillors in the Tory party. A man of integrity and intellect. To see the way he has been treated by his own party shows that little has changed in the Tories to show that they are no longer a 'Nasty party'. Peppard ward are losing a high quality councillor. I see it as a Conservatives loss rather than Jamie's, he's far better off without them. I can only see the Tories slipping further back in the councillor numbers following the next Council election and they have no one to blame but themselves.

    Recommend?   Yes 96     No 27

  • Graham Smith
    Unregistered User
    Mar 28, 13:33
    Report abuse

    @ Katy,

    The chairman of Pepperd Branch was selected by the conservatives within Peppard. Reading East Conservative have had no influence. The local members alway get to choose their branch leadership and in this case their councillor too. Obviously they did not think Jamie was who they wanted to represent them

    Recommend?   Yes 41     No 87

  • WilliamM
    Unregistered User
    Mar 28, 13:37
    Report abuse

    @katy

    No, the Local Ward Branches select their own "officers" so chairman vice chair etc RECA has no say in this at all. AGM's are usually held after a selection meeting/vote so it would be last year's officers.

    As for the Selection i know that 3 candidates put their name forward for the peppard seat, and it is not uncommon for sitting cllr's not to be reselected if someone else impresses on the night.

    RECA has no say in selection process unless the members present is below a quorum level so i really am not sure what Cllr Chowdhary is complaining about RECA about, did he expect them to protect his seat or something which is out of their control? or to stop other candidates standing, which is against the very concepts of democracy

    Recommend?   Yes 37     No 93

  • Kenneth Dope
    Unregistered User
    Mar 28, 13:46
    Report abuse

    "Cllr Chowdhary, who was deselected by Reading East Tories last autumn...".

    Once you read (and understand) that the rest of the article attends to itself. Sour grapes anyone? On a lighter note I doubt Jamie will be joining the dole queue or attending an A4E job club any time soon.

    Recommend?   Yes 55     No 89

  • Crab Sandwich
    Unregistered User
    Mar 28, 14:42
    Report abuse

    It seems that various people outside Cllr Chowdhary's ward have been involved with this, including Rob Wilson MP, as well as one Andrew Waters who was a RECA officer, and Cllr Richard Willis.

    The Chronicle has reported that Conservative Central Office was investigating RECA not the ward - aren't the posts above just a bit of desperate defence by Rob Wilson's mates?

    Recommend?   Yes 99     No 46

  • Cllr Paul Woodward
    Unregistered User
    Mar 28, 15:33
    Report abuse

    I have a lot of time for Jamie. I've learnt a lot from him as a newbie Councillor joining the Licensing committee where his skills are evident.

    He will be a loss to that committee, to Scrutiny and to the Council.

    I'm shocked by the way he's been treated by his party, but I suspect he'll have the last laugh. I hope so anyway.

    His speech at Council last night was dignified and moving, and the standing ovation was the least we could do.

    Paul Woodward (Labour Councillor, church Ward)

    Recommend?   Yes 92     No 52

  • This comment has been removed by our moderation team because it didn't meet our community guidelines.

  • Jethro
    Unregistered User
    Mar 30, 10:12
    Report abuse

    The voters didn't want him and hence he is gone. Labour googlers should look up the word 'democracy'. It isn't rocket science. However as an aside one hopes these legal proceedings mentioned aren't going to involve any race card cobblers. That old chestnut always seems to reap dividends in the politically correct climate...

    Recommend?   Yes 35     No 75

  • Tahir
    20 posts
    Mar 30, 12:26
    Report abuse

    Jethro I think you will find that voters did want him it was the backroom boys and at least one of the girls who seem to turn on Jamie when he was very seriously ill. You have to read all the comments made over the different articles in this paper to see that people respected Jamie and were very happy with what he was doing. He obviously fell out with parts of the party and they did a number on him and other Tory cllrs. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot - it will be interesting to see how many years Tories now sit on the sidelines while 'Democracy' passes its verdict on this Colossal mis-management -

    Tahir

    Recommend?   Yes 66     No 32

  • G O D
    Unregistered User
    Mar 30, 14:58
    Report abuse

    "...that he was a homophobe".

    No smoke without fire one imagines. And let us face it considering Labour still employ the openly racist Diane Abbott they are obviously the main party for bigotry of any kind.

    Recommend?   Yes 10     No 85

  • HiHoSpeaks
    8 posts
    Mar 30, 16:25
    Report abuse

    Hear we go the Tories are out - if you can't win the argument abuse, insult, associate adverse serotypes and always be sanctimonious ... must be a mind-set you people have

    Hi Ho

    Recommend?   Yes 60     No 4

  • Levitra
    Unregistered User
    Mar 31, 14:28
    Report abuse

    comment3, http://buyzithromaxpro.com Buy Azithromycin, qnsbly,

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 24

  • MoHamEggs
    Unregistered User
    Apr 3, 12:04
    Report abuse

    A bit ironic Labour followers getting behind a move that was very similar to the George Galloway debacle. If they'd adopted the same attitude back then perhaps Labour would still hold sway in the Bradford area...

    Recommend?   Yes 5     No 7

  • This comment has been removed by our moderation team because it didn't meet our community guidelines.