Tower Hamlets Watch

How Does the Council Handle Moonlighters? | May 14, 2010

Evidence has been presented on this blog, of what appears to be solid proof that Mr Lutfur Ali former Assistant CEO of Tower Hamlets, was working 3 days a week at the National College whilst also working for the Council.

Mr Lutfur Ali the former assisstant CEO for Tower Hamlets who resigned back in March 16th 2010 under a flurry of accusations regarding his character, has now come under the spotlight again for his time spent with the National College.

For those of you who have been following this, will remember the documentary ‘Britains Islamic Republic’ on Channel 4 where concerns were put forward regarding Mr Ali’s suitability for the role as Assistant CEO for Tower Hamlets Council at £125,000 per year. As the documentary highlighted there were candidates for the job far more suited and qualified for the position.
After watching the Documentary, the National College apparently noticed Mr Ali’s face as someone who was working for them and contacted Tower Hamlets Council with obvious concerns regarding his employment. Andrew Gilligan reported on his Telegraph blog that Kevin Collins (Tower Hamlets CEO) replied to enquiries regarding these accusations that

“Every member of staff is under a contractual obligation to work full-time for the council unless explicitly stated otherwise”.

Surely these matters coming to light now and Mr Ali’s contractual obiligations which he clearly seems to have broken should finally highlight the need for an investigation.
The evidence put forward yesterday is undeniable, directly from the National College and stored publically at the excellent FOI website, showing dates worked for the department by Mr Ali.
It shows that while under the employment of the council he was getting paid between £450 to £900 per day for services at the National College, plus VAT which currently stands at 17.5%.

I’m no accountant and dont really fully understand employment matters, or even why he should get paid VAT as part of his salary, but does this now bring his pay to betwee £528.75 and £1,057.50 per day.
That figure doesnt even include his expenses, which the FOI requests shows could be a maximum of £80 per day, which in itself is more money per day than most living one of the most deprived boroughs in England. Recalculating this again now gives potential figures between £608.75 and £1,137.50 per day.
So in the first month of employment Mr Ali who worked 13 dates for the National College, and who already gets paid £10,100 per month for Tower Hamlets potentially took home that month anywhere between £7913.75 and £14787.50 extra on top of his Council pay-packet.
Not a bad month for someone who seems to be holding down two part-time jobs.

Mr Ali started at the Assisstant CEO position on Monday September 1st 2008, and was appointed the responsibility for ‘Policy, Performance and Delivery’ at the counci. How much of that responsibility was he burdened with when he was also getting paid vast sums of money working for the National College on Thursday and Friday in the first week of his employement at the council. This seems to suggest that in the first week he only worked for the council for 3 days. In fact if you look at my figures here, In his first month of employment at the Council he was also employed by the National College for a total of 13 days, 11 of those during the week. Furthermore if you look at the figures closely they seem to suggest that on average he was only working on average 2 days a week at the council whilst under the employment of the National College.

Peter Golds the Blackwall & Cubitt Town Conservative Councillor who has been accused by some sections of the community of acting out a witch hunt against Mr Ali, should stand fully vindicated under the spotlight of this new evidence regarding Mr Ali.

Mr Golds who has alway held that;

“Nothing of this is personal, I just want to see the correct processes are followed”

had previously also called for an investigation into Mr Ali’s employment and the way this was carried out. Has the council carried out that investigation? When shown these documents from the National College stated that its

“absolutely staggering. I find it extroadinary, that somebody could have one of the most senior positions on the council, one of the most highest paid jobs in local government, and still be working for many days each month for another organisation”.

These previous allegations and the evidence provided here on this blog, raise some serious questions?

Did the council know he was working for the National College for more days a week than actually present at the council? Are the highest paid positions within the council with the most responsibility actually allowed to be part-time positions? Is this an efficient way to spend tax-payers money?

How does this reflect on the wider community who are living in over-crowded, deprived and un-healthy conditions, whilst their council employees seem to get paid vast amounts for holding down two part-time positions.

Why were the council not aware of Mr Ali’s role at the National College?
It seems that the council do not record centrally whether their employees hold other positions outside of the council as highlighted in a previous FOI request;

“I regret that information on officers/employees that have roles outside of the council is not recorded centrally and is therefore not available. This is recorded on each individuals HR files. It is estimated that the cost of locating and retrieving the information requested would take over 18 hours.”

taken from IGT_FOI_02_2727 at

The above statement from the council confirms that outside roles are recorded on employees HR files. This raises more questions, did Mr Ali submit this information to his HR file? Did he lie, regarding his outside employment? or did the council let him skulk of to work at the National college up to 3 days a week?

So to put it bluntly as the man in charge of Policy, Performance & Delivery;

Is it council Policy regarding officers who earn more than £120,000 per year to not investigate whether they work for outside organisations?
How well can these same members Perform if working for outside organisations for 3 days a week?
And finally how much can these officers Deliver if only working 2 days a week?

Finally Tower Hamlets Watch asks this council publicly has there been any investigation into Mr Ali’s affairs?


  1. To get an overall view of Councilors Compensation visit

    Interesting metrics include number of surgery hours per Councillor & Attendance, as well as total compensation.

    Lads behind this web site had to file about 100 freedom of information act requests, I’m told.

    Comment by Dan — May 15, 2010 @ 9:28 am

    • Thanks for the info Dan. Noticed this site myself during the election campaign and forgot about it. I will place a link to it on the blog, and if i have time I may do a short piece.

      Good to know there are others who feel the same and have their own frustrations at the Usual Suspects running our council.

      Comment by fatoompsh — May 15, 2010 @ 9:57 am

  2. Good work on Me Ali. Will he be required to repayoney earned from the council?

    The Councilor’s compensation guys are spot on.

    Comment by Marc — May 15, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

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