Faisal Khan, the man accused of leading efforts to force out head teachers and introduce Islamic values in Bradford, was one of five new Respect councillors who won election in May 2012 on the back of Mr Galloway’s success in the Bradford West by-election. They resigned from the party last August after falling out with the MP and now sit as independent councillors.
In a video recorded at a meeting of Respect party activists a month before his election, Mr Khan said it was “time we took these schools back and we raised expectations”.
He said: “It took a number of years to change the head teacher. We have to do that for every single school. We have got to get parents involved and engaged in every single school, we have to be there on governing bodies.” In the same month, Mr Galloway visited the party’s headquarters in Bradford Moor to give a speech on behalf of Mr Khan’s election campaign. The MP said he wanted “control of the economic, political and social direction of Bradford”.
Local education leaders said that pressure on Laisterdyke and Carlton Bolling, where Mr Khan had been a governor for several years, grew after the election. He and his allies have been accused of building an “axis of power to create a form of Islamic education you would normally have to pay for”. A source close to Carlton Bolling described a constant “drip drip” of pressure on head teachers, allegedly from some members of senior management.