Birmingham councillor SALMA YAQOOB has hit out at suggestions that she’s been trying to make capital out of the Gaza crisis. The accusation was made by the city’s deputy leader Paul Tilsley, in an email leaked to The Stirrer.
Tilsely revealed that he had risked a split in the ruling Conservative/Lib Dem alliance by reluctantly backing calls for a protest march during shopping hours on Saturday 17 January. That put him at odds with the Tory cabinet member for Transport Len Gregory.
In a stinging pay off he added, “I also wish to make clear that by her actions Selma Yacoob [sic] has sought at every turn to make political capital out of Gaza”.
YAQOOB, who heads Birmingham’s Stop The War coalition as well as being a Respect councillor reacted angrily, saying: “That’s disgusting. If they want to drag this down to petty party politics that’s up to them, but it’s not what I’m interested in.
“I just wanted to give the people of Birmingham a chance to peacefully have a say about an issue that’s important to so many of them”.
She pointed out that during the Gaza demo, she had asked the crowd to applaud Conservative councillor James Hutchings (even though he wasn’t there) and Jerry Evans, her prospective Lib Dem rival at the next election in the Hall Green constituency.
“My aim is to build bridges and develop cross party support over the issue of Gaza.