Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes taxi rapist report 'should be made public'

Iain Stewart MP
Image caption MP Iain Stewart said Milton Keynes reputation had been "badly damaged"

The decision not to release details of a Liberal Democrat investigation into how a serial rapist was granted a taxi licence is "deeply disappointing," according to an MP.

Tory Iain Stewart said people need to know the facts so Milton Keynes' "damaged reputation" can be repaired.

But Liberal Democrat campaign manager Jane Carr accused Mr Stewart of playing party politics.

Lib Dem Subhan Shafiq vouched for rapist Nadeem Ahmed Kiani in 2011.

Fellow party member Stuart Burke was chairman of a committee which had lifted a suspension on his licence.

Milton Keynes South MP Mr Stewart said the "issue goes far beyond party politics" and people need to know the facts "so we can repair the city's damaged reputation".

He said the Lib Dems should "re-think their decision and stop putting their own interests first".

Image copyright Milton Keynes Council
Image caption Subhan Shafiq resigned as mayor over the affair in August

Mrs Carr said Mr Stewart's comments had "nothing to do with repairing the image of the city".

She said the Liberal Democrats were the only party to have held an internal investigation into the taxi scandal.

"We are treating this confidentially as we would an employment issue, rather than spend our time ignoring the needs of local people," she said.

Milton Keynes Council revoked Kiani's licence in August last year after it was revealed he had been given a private hire licence by the licensing committee in 2011.

The chairman of this committee was Conservative Amanda Box. She is no longer a serving councillor.

A second committee lifted a suspension on his licence in 2012, despite Thames Valley Police having written to the authority giving more details of Kiani's convictions for raping and assaulting prostitutes in London in 1994.

Mr Shafiq, who had vouched for Kiani as a friend, resigned as mayor in August. He quit as a councillor when the council released a report into the affair in November.

Mr Burke, who had been chairman of the second committee, resigned from that role along with vice-chairman and Labour councillor Gladstone McKenzie.

The Liberal Democrats said recommendations had been "locally actioned" but the report would remain confidential.

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