Yet more evidence emerges today that the Tories’ star defector Amjad Bashir has serious questions to answer regarding his honesty around his company’s employment of illegal workers. Legal documents seen by Guido accuse Bashir of lying in a Press Complaints Commission complaint about last year’s Times story alleging he had employed seven illegal immigrants in his Zouk restaurant in Manchester.
The Times reported Bashir resigned as a director of Zouk Ltd three days after it was raided by immigration officials. Bashir denied this, complaining to the PCC that he had left a month before the raid.
However, Companies House documents show that nothing was filed to confirm any resignation until after the raid. An internal investigation by UKIP’s lawyers carried out last July found “Mr Bashir had put in the resignation 3 days after the raid but back-dated it to a month earlier”.
The UKIP legal advice then states: “without any credible evidence to substantiate the position of Mr Bashir, on the approval of the party secretary, counsel withdrew the Press Complaint”. They concluded – six months before he defected – that:
“It is counsel’s view that Mr Bashir has put forward a false account of the incident to minimise his involvement in any wrongdoing and pushing it forward so publicly was both brazen and irresponsible when thinking of the Party’s reputation at large.”
So Bashir’s counsel withdrew his complaint when they realised he wasn’t telling the truth. Something that UKIP sat on for months. Remember when the Tories claimed they vetted him and found he was fine?