Oxford City Councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford Sajjad Malik has been suspended from the Labour Party after becoming subject to a Domestic Protection Order. Initially elected as a Liberal Democrat before crossing the floor to Labour in 2007, Cllr. Malik has served as a councillor for Cowley Marsh ward since 2004.
The Domestic Protection Order, issued by Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 5 March, prevents Cllr. Malik from coming within 50 metres of an address in Oxford, and will last for the maximum possible period of 28 days. Such an order is issued when the subject of it is believed to pose an imminent threat of domestic violence to another individual.
According to a statement from Oxford City Council Labour Group, Cllr Malik’s party membership was suspended after a referral to the party by Group Leader Susan Brown. He will sit as an independent “till further notice”.
Speaking to the BBC, a City Council spokesperson said it was “a matter for the council to decide” whether Cllr. Malik would continue in his role as Deputy Lord Mayor. The next full council meeting will be held on 29 April.
Regarding Cllr. Malik’s suspension, Cllr Brown said: “Any allegation of domestic abuse must be taken seriously. The Labour Party has a proud history of standing up for victims of domestic abuse. As soon as I and senior colleagues became aware of the court hearing, we informed the Labour party, who moved quickly to suspend him.
“Clearly, I and my colleagues are shocked and disappointed to learn about the hearing and the circumstances that led to it. We will now await the outcome of all the relevant investigations.”
Oxford University Labour Club commented: “We remain steadfastly opposed as a Club to domestic violence wherever it occurs”.
Cllr. Malik was contacted for comment.
Image Credit: Steve Daniels