Labour party suspends Indian-origin candidate in Britain

An Indian-origin man, who is running for a local election in Britain’s West London next month, was suspended by the British Labour party as its candidate after it was found that he was embroiled in a court case.

Cranford ward candidate Gurpal Virdi, who is a former Metropolitan police officer from Hounslow, has been accused of indecently assaulting a 16-year-old boy between Sep 30 and Dec 31 in 1986 and has been summoned to appear before the Westminster Magistrate’s Court May 30, Get West London website reported Monday.

The party said the action has been taken following disclosure that Virdi has been summoned to appear in court on a matter which he believed he would be cleared of.

“However, given the circumstances, the Labour Party can no longer support Mr Virdi as a Labour candidate for Cranford ward in next month’s elections,” the news report quoted a Labour party London spokesperson as saying.

Virdi, 55, however, said he will still stand in the local elections.

The allegation came to light after the close of nominations for candidates, the report said.

Hounslow council announced the list of candidates contesting in the borough on April 25.

Gurpal Virdi, a detective sergeant, retired from the Metropolitan Police in 2012 after 30 years of service.

Scotland Yard, in its charge against Virdi, said: “Between September 30, 1986 and December 31, 1986 within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, Mr Gurpal Virdi, being a public officer, namely a Metropolitan Police Officer, and acting as such, without reasonable excuses or justification, willfully misconducted himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in that office.” (ians)

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