Labour councillors in Birmingham were under fire last night for indulging in political point scoring over the city's response to the Pakistan earthquake.
Criticism was levelled at Ian Ward, deputy leader of the Labour group, who claimed his invitation to the launch of the Lord Mayor's relief fund was an "afterthought" by the city council's ruling Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition.
Coun Ward (Shard End) surprised visiting dignitaries, including the vice-consul of the Pakistani High Commission and the national spokesman for the Islamic Relief Appeal, when asked at a press conference for his comments on the relief effort.
Coun Ward said: "In making a response to the earthquake the council should act in a unified way and be inclusive of all political parties.
"This should not be a matter for party politics."
His comments followed a press release issued by Labour group leader Sir Albert Bore, which welcomed the Lord Mayor's appeal but sought to re-open a row about the council's response to the Birmingham tornado in the summer.
Labour's comments were criticised by Anne Underwood, Conservative councillor for Sutton Four Oaks, who said she was surprised and disappointed that Coun Bore had sought to "trivialise" the loss of lives in Pakistan by using the disaster as a vehicle to make political capital from the tornado.
John Hood, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, denied that Labour had been treated unfairly.
Coun Hood (Con Sutton Vesey) added: "I met with Sir Albert Bore yesterday and told him what was happening. He was kept fully in the loop."
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