Deptford councillor given push three months after election following integrity allegations (From News Shopper)
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Deptford councillor given push three months after election following integrity allegations
A DEPTFORD councillor has been given the push just three months after being elected following allegations over her “integrity” and “honesty”.
News Shopper previously revealed how Councillor Olufunke Abidoye was elected to Evelyn ward in March despite being investigated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) over midwifery misconduct claims.
Now the Labour councillor has been deselected from running for the ward in next year’s election – before she even had a chance to attend her first full council meeting on June 26.
Leader of Lewisham Lib Dems Councillor Chris Maines had previously called for Mrs Olufunke to stand down while the NMC investigation - which deemed she should be suspended for 18 months for public protection – was carried out.
Responding to news of her deselection, Cllr Maines said: “I do wonder why she was considered suitable for the election if she is now not deemed suitable by the Labour party.”
In the run up to her election victory – which came after her predecessor serial absentee councillor Joseph Folorunso stood down before he could be sacked – it was claimed the mother-of-four was still a nurse.
Mrs Abidoye – formally a midwife at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Trust - was suspended last October while various unspecified allegations are looked into.
The NMC Interim Order Hearing document read: “The panel was informed that these are serious allegations that if found proved, could bring into question your honesty, integrity and competency.
“The panel considered that these are serious allegations which raise potential concerns about patient safety.
“The panel is of the view that based on the information before it there is a real possibility of repetition for the alleged behaviour and that this could put patients at risk of harm.”
When News Shopper approached Mrs Abidoye for a comment she hung up the phone.
Other Labour deselections include long-serving New Cross councillor Madeliene Long who has been repeatedly criticised for not showing up at council meetings and holds a 38 per cent attendance record for the past six months.
Jamie Milne has become a new Labour hopeful for the Evelyn post, while Joe Dromey - the son of Unite-backed MP Jack Dromey - is one candidate for Ms Long’s ward.
Nearby Southwark Council cabinet member Catherine McDonald, who recently ran against Unite-backed Vicky Foxcroft for Labour's Lewisham Deptford seat, has also been surprisingly deselected.
Lewisham Labour Group declined to comment about reasons for individual cases in the selection process which runs until the end of July.
A Lewisham Labour Group spokeswoman said:"The Labour Party has had a great deal of competition for local council candidates next year and they are selected by secret ballots in local branches so it is not possible to comment on individual decisions."
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