‘The four Councillors who were not amongst the original group of signatories wish to make it clear that they abhor the indefensible actions of Dipu Ahad.
The lack of their signatures on the original document was for purely procedural reasons without them having sight of what the Judge had said following the guilty plea by Dipu Ahad which completely altered their view of the situation.
They wish to apologise for any distress or misunderstanding that has been caused by their non signing of the original statement.
They wish to place on record their solidarity and support for his victim and condemn unconditionally the callous actions of Dipu Ahad. They praise the victim for her sustained courage in speaking out against a powerful figure in the city. They also condemn his late guilty plea for aggravated stalking which, because of the prospect of a trial, added considerably to the stress and pressure on his victim. They are appalled by the misogyny and hate that was spread by some about her and believe that lessons need to be learned about why a victim of such appalling crimes was not only disbelieved, but openly challenged by some within the community. They are proud to support the White Ribbon campaign and will do everything they can to ensure that all victims of abuse, harassment and hate crimes are given the dignity, respect and support they deserve.’
David Cook (Cllr) Chair of Newcastle Labour Group