Factions at Waltham Forest's largest mosque are still locked in a long-running, bitter power struggle.

Infighting over elections for control of Waltham Forest Islamic Association (WFIA), which runs the Lea Bridge Road mosque, shows no sign of abating, with the current ruling committe refusing to hold a vote despite being in power for longer than the three years required by the charity's constitution.

Senior committee member, Asghar Ali, says the committee attempted to hold an Annual General Meeting and elections last year but claims fradulant registration forms were found and the poll was postponed.

He added the charity's constitution only allows the necessary AGM to take place in November.
But the opposition faction is urging the committee to hold elections as soon as possible.

Mohammed Ilyas Raja is an opposition representative and describes himself as the de facto  general secretary of WFIA.

“I think this is injustice,” he said.

“Everyone who is a member there is trying to have an election, fair and square, under the constitution. The community is very upset.”

He added that if elections were not held, legal action would be taken.

The police and Charity Commission have been invloved in the dispute over the last few years.
But the commission has recently distanced itself from the dispute.

In a recent letter to the WFIA ruling committee, the commission said it will cease to engage with the ongoing issues as they had been ongoing for several years, adding that members knew the appropriate course of action was to stage elections.

"If the parties cannot resolve the issues in question the Commission suggests engaging an independent third party to resolve the dispute," the letter added.

Mr Ali promised to hold elections in November and resolve the dispute.

He said: “We envision one common committee to stand in elections with all the people in our community on board the committee, which will eventually turn the mosque into a trust so that in future, whenever there is a squabble, there will be no more friction.”