Adeline Aina (left), who was last month barred from standing as a Labour council candidate because of “unanswered questions” about a local tenant management organisation she was involved with, has vowed to clear her name and continue to “serve” the party.
It comes after a Lambeth council report raised questions about the Patmos Area Community Conservation Association (PACCA), a tenant management organisation in Vassall ward. Aina is the organisation’s estate director and board secretary.
According to the Lambeth council report, published in December, an investigation by the auditors PwC found more than £300,000 in cash had been withdrawn from PACCA’s bank accounts. The report said PwC could not find evidence of how this money had been spent.
“The council cannot currently satisfy itself that public funds are being spent appropriately,” it said.
In a statement the London Labour party said stopping Aina from standing in May’s election was “the only realistic outcome in the interests of both Ms Aina and the Labour Party.”
However, Aina – who was selected as a council candidate by a local group, beating the senior councillor Pete Robbins to the role – is challenging the findings of the Lambeth report.
She told the Bugle: “The body of evidence completely outweighs the allegations. There has been no wrongdoing and I fully expect to serve the party sometime in the future once vindicated.
“I’m disappointed in the action to de-select me based on a report that is being challenged, but I would very much like to thank all those that supported me especially the Labour Black Network, BAME Labour and Operation Black Vote,” she added.
Aina has been at the centre of a row with the local Labour party since last summer. In July she and a group of supporters staged a protest on Windrush Square after the local party called her in for a hearing about her candidacy.