Party banned from challenging Newham Council in High Court without judge’s permission

Kamran Malik, Communities United Party leader.

Kamran Malik, Communities United Party leader. - Credit: Archant

A political party has been banned from bringing further High Court legal challenges related to Newham Council without a judge’s permission after a series of “truly hopeless claims”.

In a rare legal move, a civil restraint order was imposed on the Communities United Party (CUP) to curb its litigation activities.

The party, led by Kamran Malik, had applied for permission to seek court orders requiring the leaders of Newham Council to forfeit six months salary or resign over “wasteful spending” on the London Pleasure Garden project which collapsed despite a £3.3m loan.

In papers before the court, the party argued it amounted to an “inept loan” of taxpayers’ money and there were legal grounds for the court intervening.

Mr Malik’s party applied for judicial review against 22 Newham councillors and officials, including Mayor Sir Robin Wales, and Chief Executive Kim Bromley-Derry.

But Mr Justice Collins, sitting in London, ruled it was the latest in a series of nine “truly hopeless claims” brought to court by the party since 2011.

Another example the judge referred to was a complaint over increases in parking charges in the borough.

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The judge said the party “comes running to this court every time Newham makes a decision it does not like” and the applications were “a real nuisance and wasted a lot of money”.

The judge ruled the time had come to make a civil restraint order prohibiting Mr Malik or his party “from taking any proceedings which relate, either directly or indirectly, to decisions of the London borough of Newham” without the leave of a judge.

The judge also ordered CUP to pay Newham more than £2,000 in legal costs even though they claim they amounted to around £6,000.

A Newham council spokesman added: “They have used up considerable council resources which would have been more usefully spent benefiting our residents. We hope the verdict has brought this to a close.”