Express & Star

Ex-councillor cleared of sexual assault allegations in bid to become MP

Community campaigner Shaz Saleem is standing as an independent candidate for Kingswinford and South Staffordshire in the General Election.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

The former Conservative councillor, whose political career was left in tatters in February 2023 after being arrested on suspicion of sexual assault only to be cleared three months later, announced his campaign on deadline for nominations.

Mr Saleem, who maintains he was a victim of a political plot which prevented him defending his Dudley Council seat in May 2023, announced his campaign on Friday.

He posted on Facebook: "To bring about real change, we need to put community over politics and listen to the voices within our own constituency.

Shaz Saleem

"If elected to serve as your Member of Parliament, I will do my utmost to uphold your interests and views in Parliament and to help strengthen our community within Kingswinford and South Staffordshire."

He added: "I’m a charity campaigner with a great passion for my local community, and to be able to serve residents is an absolute privilege, a privilege that many of the major parties seem to have taken for granted. I have always supported local ventures and continue to actively help our residents with what really matters to them.

"It’s only when we are immersed in our community and interact with local businesses and people that we can truly listen and understand the real concerns within our community."

Mr Saleem explained his campaign would concentrate on crime, helping the youth and elderly, helping local businesses, fighting the proposed battery storage park and to be visible in the community.

The Kingswinford and South Staffordshire seat is new after Boundary Commission changes and includes most of the former Dudley South constituency, which was represented by Mike Wood for the Conservatives since 2015.

The candidates for the July 4 poll are Gulvinder Singh Bansal for the Liberal Democrats, Sally Benton for the Labour Party, Gary Andrew Dale for Reform UK, Claire McIlvenna for the Green Party, Shaz Saleem an Independent and Mike Wood for the Conservatives.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.