RICHARD Farnell, the disgraced former Rochdale council leader who lied under oath to the national child abuse inquiry reportedly had an affair with Mohammed Shafiq, the current head of The Ramadan Foundation, Politicalite can exclusively reveal.
Farnell, who is still a Labour councillor in Rochdale was branded ‘shameful’ by the inquiry for refusing to take personal responsibility for the abuse – which happened under his watch when he was first town hall leader between 1986 and 1992 – as well as ‘bullish, self-opinionated and unyielding’.
The alleged affair started after Shafiq was forced to resign as vice-chairman of Rochdale Liberal Democrats in January 2008 after he made abusive comments about party colleagues online.
Shafiq used a fake profile online called ‘Deeplish Lad’ to praise himself and criticise his Lib Dem colleagues. He accused a local councillor of being a “racist” and said she used “tricks from the BNP handbook”
A source told Politicalite: “Following his dismissal from the Rochdale Liberal Democrats he then started helping out the local Labour Party, and became close to Richard Farnell.”
The source went on: “Whilst helping out Farnell one evening with a group of other Labour activists, they went their own way away from the rest to deliver some leaflets, and at some point they were discovered both walking out of some bushes on Cronkeyshaw Common, Rochdale.”
Shafiq’s parents allegedly forced him to move to Pakistan until he was married: “Word got round that Shafiq, who was single at the time had to leave Rochdale as his parents were so ashamed.”
“They forced him to go back to Pakistan, never to return until he was married.”
When Shafiq returned, Mr Farnell allegedly helped him become a powerful figure leading to his position as the head of the Ramadan Foundation.
Our source added: “Farnell still continues to this day having affairs with fellow, young activists.”
Two weeks ago we revealed that speaker John Bercow had invited Mohammed Shafiq to Parliament for an Iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan even though he had defended and praised a paedophile Imam who was linked to the murder of Alan Henning.
Rochdale Imam Abdul Rauf, 52 who was charged with two section 47 assaults against two boys aged 10 and 12 and 19 charges of section 39 assault against unidentified children.
Following the report, Politicalite was smeared in the press and lost an Advertising deal with Sky Bet, we can now see why.
In a statement, Mohammed Shafiq told Politicalite: “You have 24 hours to withdraw this lying and false article and issue a full apology or my Solictor will be starting proceedings against you. You have published lies on Facebook, Twitter and your website. Delete the posts and article and a full apology on twitter or my legal action starts.”
He said our source was “peddling lies” adding: “It’s totally garbage and false and lies. Your source is peddling fake news.”
Shaifiq also said the first time he met Richard Farnell was in 2015.