Longstanding Cumbernauld councillor Bob Chadha has now filed his appeal against Labour party bosses who controversially want him to stand down.
Last month, every Labour councillor in North Lanarkshire Council underwent an internal vetting process to assess their suitability to stand as a candidate in next May’s council elections.
Councillor Chadha (78) who has served on NLC since it was formed 20 years ago was among those who did not meet the approval of the panel.
And it’s now emerged that the retired social worker learned the truth not from the party but by reading a front-page report on the process in The Herald.
Embattled Councillor Chadha said that the attitude of the panel had caused him a great deal of distress, especially since he has been a Labour party member since 1964. And he now hopes that the panel will think again.
The councillor said: “I believe I am a victim of ageism here.
“I have given my life to the Labour party. I am not happy and my children are not happy. There are a lot of factors here which were not taken into account with my application, such as my real age.”
When pressed, Councillor Chadha said that he is younger than the age shown on his passport because regulations about the registration of births were not the same in his birthplace of India.
He admitted: “I did not actually intend to stand for re-election but the fact that the council had a new leader in Jim Logue persuaded me to go for it because I thought that would make a difference.”
The Cumbernauld News has discussed the matter with a press officer at Scottish Labour who insisted that the panel itself had not been responsible for telling the newspaper and that it was wrong to say that Councillor Chadha had not been de-selected as the decision has the potential to change on appeal.
The spokesman would not be drawn on the question of whether Councillor Chadha’s age had played a part in the decision but said:“Labour will put forward the strongest possible group of candidates who will stand up for their local communities against cuts from the SNP government in Edinburgh. Despite millions being cut from local services.
“North Lanarkshire Labour are ambitious for the future of our community with a plan to build 1,800 homes over the next ten years.”