Councillor stands by ‘inappropriate’ tweet after cyclist’s death

12:56 18 December 2012

A white ghost bicycle and floral tributes mark the scene where Javed Sumbal died. Picture: Ron Lamb

A white ghost bicycle and floral tributes mark the scene where Javed Sumbal died. Picture: Ron Lamb


The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has criticised a Tower Hamlets councillor for tweeting an “ill-advised” comment about cyclists.

Cllr Oliur Rahman, cabinet member for children’s services, posted a comment on Twitter shortly after the death of cyclist Javed Sumbal on Commercial Road on December 6:

He wrote: “I have serious concern about cyclist not wearing any safety equipment and some cyclists think they own the road”.

Tower Hamlets’ LCC campaign officer Gerry Matthews said: “The better comment would be an expression of regret and a pledge to work to increase the safety of all road users in the borough rather than an inappropriate assertion of culpability and victim blaming.

“It’s an ill-advised and ill-thought out comment, and we expect an apology”.

Cllr Rahman insisted the tweet did not refer exclusively to the incident in which Mr Sumbal tragically died, and reiterated his views.

“I stand by this, because this is not the first time cyclists have died, and it won’t be the last unfortunately,” he said.

“I am sorry if she [Gerry Matthews] feels this is ill-informed, but this is my genuine feeling as a driver, and I am sure other drivers would agree with me.”

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