Crime Reduction

16.01.19

Mayor-elect quits over controversy surrounding wife’s involvement in TV executive murder case

The mayor-elect of the London Borough of Redbridge has dramatically withdrawn his nomination after it emerged that his wife was involved in the brutal killing of a TV executive.

Varinder Singh-Bola, mayor-elect of Redbridge, announced that he would no longer be taking up the position in order to protect his family from “public speculation and hearsay” in the wake of the controversy.

The wife of Singh-Bola, Mundill Mahil, was involved in the murder of a 21-year-old TV executive who was beaten, tied up and burned alive in the boot of a car, leading to both a murder charge, a manslaughter charge, and lengthy prison sentences for two men.

Mahil was not involved in the murder, but she did reportedly lured the victim to her flat and was convicted of grievously bodily harm in 2012 and was given a six-year jail term.

The decision comes as Singh-Bola had defended his wife, calling her a “great example” of the British criminal justice system as she had rebuilt her life since she her release on license in 2014 and was preparing to become mayoress.

The mayoral candidate said Mahil had made a “positive contribution to society through mentoring and supporting others” since leaving prison four years ago, during which she married Varinder.

But Singh-Bola has now announced his withdrawal from consideration for the mayoralty of Redbridge after “taking time to reflecting on the events of the past weekend and the concerns of my family, friends and colleagues.”

In a statement, he said: “The Redbridge mayoralty is a hugely important and distinguished position and one which I do not wish to do undue harm by allowing it to become mired in controversy.

“I stand united with my beloved wife and my wider family. They have always loved and supported me and now it is my time to shield them from public speculation and hearsay.”

The leader of Redbridge Labour Group, Jas Athwal, stated: “I accept Cllr Singh-Bola’s decision to withdraw his nomination, we will now move on and look at further candidates for mayor of Redbridge in 2019-20.”

The statement said no further comment would be made by either party.

The now-former Labour-candidate had previously told of his “excitement” at starting in the ceremonial role, saying he stood with his wife who had been involved in charities and grassroot politics since well-before the two met.

He said they had refrained from publicising their side of the story and instead focused on giving back to the community, saying he hoped people would refrain from passing judgement without knowing the full details.

Jocelyn Hillman, founder and chief executive of Working Chance, said she was a good example of how reform and rehabilitation should operate, and added: “Mundill served her sentence and is now herself working for charitable causes including the reintegration of offenders.”

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