- Cllr Ismail Ibrahim twice failed to pay his council tax on time
- He owed Bolton council more than £2,000 between 2011 and 2013
- But he fought a three-year legal battle to keep his identity out of the public
- An Upper-Tier Tribunal Judge Kate Marcus QC ruled he should be named
Cllr Ismail Ibrahim, pictured, twice failed to pay his council tax in Bolton on time and has been named over the issue after a three-year legal battle
The head of a council finance committee has been exposed as a serial council tax dodger after losing a three-year fight to keep it a secret.
Ismail Ibrahim, a Labour member of Bolton Council in Greater Manchester, has now been sacked from his role on the committee that oversees town hall spending, losing a £5,000 allowance.
A Freedom of Information request revealed that he'd twice failed to pay his council tax and had been summonsed to court, but Cllr Ibrahim repeatedly fought off attempts to name him.
The case began after the Bolton News submitted the request and found the councillor was ordered to court between April 2011 and March 2012 for not paying £936 tax.
The court hearing was later cancelled after the bill was settled, but Cllr Ibrahim was again summonsed to appear between April 2012 and March 2013 after another £1,039 was outstanding.
Once again the hearing was called off because Cllr Ibrahim agreed a payment plan with the council, with all the money since repaid.
As he did not appear in court over the matter, the newspaper had less legal protection to report the non-payment, but took the case to the Information Commissioner's Office, an independent body which deals with freedom of information and data protection.
The office decided his name should remain secret, as did a First-Tier Tribunal in 2014 when the Bolton News took the case further, with Judge Robin Callender Smith ruling Cllr Ibrahim's human rights would be infringed if he was named.
But at an upper tribunal Judge Kate Marcus QC disagreed and ruled the councillor could be identified.
Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris attended the offices of the Bolton News to present them with a statement on behalf of Cllr Ibrahim, who could not attend because of a 'family commitment'. He is now facing calls to resign his seat.
Cllr Ibrahim said: 'I would like to sincerely apologise to the people of Bolton for not disclosing my name earlier.'
The initial FOI request discovered two councillors had not paid council tax on time, with Cllr Mudasir Dean admitting not paying the bill in August 2014.
The pair owed a total of £4,600 and turned to a number of bodies to keep their names a secret at a cost of more than £3,500.
The councillor, pictured, has lost his post on a Bolton Council finance committee and is facing calls to resign
Police launched an investigation into Cllr Dean as he had attended two budget-setting meetings while still owing tax.
But he was never charged as officers were satisfied he had agreed a repayment plan with the council.
A council spokesman added Cllr Ibrahim will not be reported to police because he had paid his arrears in full prior to the same two budget meetings.