Tower Hamlets Watch

Lutfur Ali paid more than the Prime Minister

June 1, 2010
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Its come to light today that ‘Lutfur Ali’ is probably getting paid more than the Prime Minister. With the Prime Ministers pay at £142,000 and our man with the plan’s Lutfur Ali’s at £125,000 with executive benefits, probably leads this far and above the Prime Ministers. Sources within the council tell me that his bonuses and benefits package could be as much as £50,000 pounds per year. Taking his overall salary to over £175,000 pounds per year. Official sources within the council refuse to comment on this, as this for some reason is deemed personal information which they claim comes under the protection of the Data Protection Act.

Also we can take it that although he resigned over two months ago, that executive contracts make it extremely difficult for the council to actually stop paying him, so we can honestly say he is probably still getting his £10,100 pounds a months salary as pointed out by Ted Jeory on the 19th March 2010.

Council sources have repeatedly denied that there is any investigation into this man, who apparently was completly unqualified for this job, who also again apparently lied on his CV, regarding not only his qualifications but also his experience. Yet this man was given cart-blanche access to one of the largest council budgets in the country.

£10,100 per month, not bad for working 2 days per week, and now what seems like not working at all and still getting paid. How many other faceless over-paid tin-pot dictators walk the corridors of the grubbiest little council in britain?

With no official response from the council, we can only wonder at what’s going on in that place………

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Outside Interest in Lutfur

May 27, 2010
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Today I’ve noticed more coverage of what this blog revealed here first;

Private Eye Magazine reported on this “All in a Day’s Work” in their section on ‘Rotten Boroughs” pg 14 in this weeks issue. Its got ‘Fergie’ and the ‘Queen on the front cover.

Ted Jeory the former deputy editor of the East London Advertiser reported on this and actually gave praise to my meager efforts in his post ‘Moonlight Over Ali’ over at his new blog regarding Tower Hamlets – Trial By Jeory “Watching the World of East End Politics” over at

This weeks ‘Wharf’ magazine provided their piece in the form of a letter from a reader in their paper, but no online coverage. Finally the East London Advertiser put out online this; “FOI request reveals cash earnings ‘scandal’ of former top town hall manager”, but missed the mark in last weeks edition of their printed paper by only paying scant regard to what should have been a bigger piece IMO……

One good thing though is that Mr Peter Golds, Blackwall & Cubit Town Councillor who again IMO has been unjustly targeted for accusations of a witch hunt against Mr Ali, and should feel exonerated by recent events, has stated in Mr Jeorys blog that:

“This is beginning to appear a complete scandal.” He has demanded Mr Collins give an explanation.

The only thing i disagree with in the above qoute is that its not ‘beginning to appear a complete scandal’ but that it is a complete scandal already, and demand to know the truth of where the council stands on this issue. As highlighted by a previous FOI request to Tower Hamlets Council they refuse to be pushed on the questioning of Mr Ali hiding behind the Data Protection Act, when the National College relinquished this right.

Stop hiding behind the Data Protection Act when it comes to this odious little man, as residents demand to know how you’ve been spending their tax money. In the interest of fair, open democracy and full transparency which you love to state you work under, open up the books and if he’s guilty of fraud, prosecute the man.

Mr Ali when questioned on his time at the National College before he resigned and reported in Andrew Gilligans Blog at the Telegraph is quoted as saying;

“I cannot make a comment on that because I need to check out exactly what the college have said.”

The National College have spoken quite clearly now, in fact I’d say they were ‘f*&%£g’ screaming at the top of their lungs.

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Official Council Repsonse regarding calls for Lutfur Ali Investigation

May 22, 2010
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Just recieved an email from a colleague. Who as a news researcher contacted the Council Press Office, and talked to one of the communications officers, regarding Mr Ali. The conversation they tell me was a simple one, simply asking “Is there an official council investigation into Mr Ali, especially since the new revelations have been produced by the National College?”

In the interests of full disclosure, and to be fair to everyone waiting with bated breath, here, now, finally is the official council response to this question;

“Lutfur Ali started his employment at Tower Hamlets Council on 1 September 2008 and resigned on 8th March 2010. We cannot discuss individual cases. The Council has clear performance standards and also a code of conduct which forms part of the employment contract for all employees.”

My own council sources though, stand by their claim that there is in fact no actual investigation into Mr Ali, never has been, and probably never will be.

I suppose now I’m going to have to figure out how to get a copy of the “clear perfomance standards and also the code of conduct which forms part of the employment contract for all employees.” I smell another FOI request coming on…..

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Update on Lutfur Ali Investigation

May 20, 2010
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Indepedent researchers have confirmed today that Tower Hamlets Press office are still unwilling to comment on wether there is any investigaion into Mr Ali.

I ask you, what have they got to hide? If Mr Ali was breaking his contract by moonlighting at the National College then surely he should be prosecuted, and all payments and benefits should be rescinded and returned as quickly as possible. If Mr Ali was not breaking his contract and was allowed to work at the National College, then I ask you again, is this normal practice for over-paid council workers to only work 2 days a week?

So basically the story goes on, as of yet there is no comment from Tower Hamlets Council regarding any investigation into Mr Ali

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Did Lutfur Ali really get paid £1262 per day?

May 16, 2010
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Dr Kevan Collins Tower Hamlets current CEO mentioned on the Tower Hamlets Website that he would miss working with Lutfur Ali;

Statement by the Chief Executive

Assistant Chief Executive, Lutfur Ali, resigned from his post on 17 March after deciding to move on.

Chief Executive, Kevan Collins, said that he was sad to lose Mr. Ali but appreciated his decision. Dr. Collins acknowledged the significant contributions by Mr. Ali as the Assistant Chief Executive responsible for leading key parts of the Council’s business.

Mr. Ali leaves a legacy of achievements including his contribution to our level 3 in the new Comprehensive Area Assessment score, an excellent rating for the new Equalities Framework Assessment, a highly successful Tower Hamlets Together Campaign, a thriving third sector, and a policy and performance team that has helped the Council achieve a host of national awards for improving service delivery.

Dr. Collins said he would miss working with Mr. Ali, and added that Mr. Ali’s considerable contributions to the borough and the Council were widely recognised most importantly in the way in which the Council had extended and improved its understanding of the needs and aspirations of residents.

Mr. Ali joined the Council in 2008 after a distinguished career in the private and public sector.

As readers know, this blog revealed that Mr Ali probably only attended to his duties at the council for most of his tenure for only 2 days a week. Although the current CEO stated in the press release above that he would “miss working with him”, why didn’t he seem to notice his colleagues absence from his desk for 3 days a week?

It would seem that Mr Ali’s council pay-packet of £10,100 per month didn’t include timesheets, or any sort of oversight. Why did no one at the council notice he seemed to be skulking off to work at the National College for 3 days a week for anything upto £1400 per day?

If the research put forward by this blog turn out to be true that for most of his time he was only working for 2 days per week at the council, then his pay-packet per day at the council would come to around £1262 per day.

The council still hasn’t answered Ted Jeory’s question of wether taxpayers are still paying his salary, even though he has resigned.

Again this blog asks, why does there seem to be no investigation into this man, and what seems to be a huge abuse of tax-payers money?

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?

Days worked by Mr Ali At National College

May 14, 2010
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Just to make it a litter clearer for people.  I’ve taken the liberty of showing the exact days he worked for the National College whilst also being employed in his position as Assistant CEO for Tower Hamlets

September 2008 – 13 days, 11 weekdays
Thu 4, Fri 5, Sat 6
Tues 9, Thur 11, Fri 12
Mon 15, Fri 19, Sat 20
Mon 22, Tues 23, Fri 26,
Mon 29

October 2008 – 15 days, 12 weekdays
Wed 1, Fri 3
Tues 7, Thu 9, Sat 11
Mon 13, Thu 16, Fri 17, Sat 18
Mon 20, Fri 24, Sat 25
Mon 27, Thur 30, Fri 31

November 2008 – 12 days, 12 weekdays
Mon 3, Tues 4, Wed 5
Wed 12, Thur 13, Sat 15
Wed 19, Thur 20, Fri 21
Wed 26, Thur 27, Fri 28

December 2008 – 14 days, 13 weekdays
Thur 4, Fri 5, Sat 6
Wed 10, Thur 11, Fri 12
Wed 17, Thur 18, Fri 19
Mon 22, Tues 23, Wed 24
Mon 29, Tues 30

January 2009 – 13 days, 12 weekdays
Thur 1,
Mon 5, Thur 8, Fri 9,
Mon 12, Thur 15, Fri 16,
Mon 19, Tues 20, Fri 23
Mon 26, Fri 30, Sat 31

February 2009 – 12 days, 12 week days ?? 3 days a week
Mon 2, Tues 3, Fri 6
Mon 9, Tues 10, Fri 13
Mon 16, Thur 19, Fri 20
Mon 23, Thurs 26, Fri 27

March 2009 – 14 days, 14 weekdays again 3 days a week
Mon 2, Tues 3, Frid 6
Mon 9, Tues 10, Fri 13
Mon 16, Wed 18, Fri 20
Mon 23, Tues 24, Wed 25
Mon 30, Tues 31

April 2009 – 12 days, 11 weekdays, 3 days a week
Fri 3, Mon 6, Tue 7 Wed 8
Thu 16, Frid 17, Sat 18
Mon 20, Thurs 23, Fri 24
Mon 27, Tues 28

May 2009 – 13 days, 13 weekdays, 3 days a week
Fri 1, Tue 5, Wed 6, Fri 8
Mon 11, Tues 12, Wed 13
Mon 18, Tues 19, Fri 22
Tues 26, Wed 27, Fri 29

June 2009 – 14 days, 14 weekdays, 3 days a week
Mon 1, Tues 2, Fri 5
Mon 8, Tues 9, Thu 11
Mon 15, Tues 16, Thu 18
Mon 22, Tue 23, Thu 25
Mon 29, Tues 30

July 2009 – 11 days, 11 weekdays, 3 days a week
Wed 1, Fri 3
Mon 6 Tue 7, Fri 10
Mon 13, Tue 14, Fri 17
Mon 20, Mon 27, Fri 31

August 2009 – 9 days, 8 weekdays,  on average 3 days a week
Sat 1, Mon 3 Thur 6
Mon 10, Thurs 13, Fri 14
Mon 17, Fri 21, Thurs 27

September 2009 – 5 days, 5 weekdays
Tues 1, Wed 16, Thu 17
Thur 24, Tues 29

It seems that he was working on average around 3 days a week for the National College whilst being employed by our Council. More importantly he was also charged with the responsibility of  ‘Policy, Performance & Delivery’ which seems to be a highly paid non-job, that only needs full attention for around two days per-week.

Surely this requires the full attention of the council, and should require the council to fully investigate these matters? The first question that needs answering is how many days was Mr Ali actually in attendance at Tower Hamlets Council?

More importantly, as Ted Jeory pointed out in a letter to the editor of the East London Advertiser published on 19 March 2010, that although he’s officially resigned under these allegations, are the council still paying “£10,100 of our council tax money on his salary for every month of his outstanding notice period.”

Mr Jeory also alludes in that letter to the suspicion that there may not even be an investigation actually being carried out. Without any official council declarations, then who knows?

Exclusive Evidence regarding Lutfur Ali

May 12, 2010
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One of my many colleague’s who share the same principles as I, has informed me of some information that has recently come to light.

This is exclusive news to this site, never reported before regarding our Tower Hamlets council, is that Mr Ali who resigned from the council earlier this year under a flurry of accusations, was actually working for another organisation. The fact that he was working or moonlighting is the matter under discussion.

Using the excellent public ‘Freedom Of Information’ website a request was sent to the National College and has been recieved back. Here is the FOI Request and Response from the National College which proves without a shadow of a doubt that Mr Ali was moonlighting. Infact not only was he getting paid between £450 to £900 per day for his considered opinions, but the first week of his employment at London Borough of Tower Hamlets as Assistant CEO, he worked at the National College on the Friday and Saturday of that week.

As this news has just come in, I must digest this information, before writing a better piece, and writing it up here.