Monday, 25 April 2016

Helping James Powney solve the Brent Councillor suspension mystery

James Powney, former Brent Labour councillor, writing on his blog recently remarked that  'Martin (Francis) is self-confessedly a strongly anti-Labour man, his comments always need to be taken with a hefty dose of salt.'

However, he followed up my story LINK  on the suspension of a Labour Councillor in the run up to the Labour Group AGM which will be held after the May 5th election.  Powney expresses doubt that Brent Council leader, Muhammed Butt, had no knowledge of the suspension and added:
What surprises me is that he has got away with this line on many previous occasions _ disclaiming any knowledge of sacking a former Chief Executive, closing Kensal Rise Library, closing the Stonebridge Adventure Playground, and many others.  It seems to be his default response whenever asked to defend a position.  We shall see if Labour councillors are content to continue putting up with this,
James Powney returned to the subject after the above posting, writing on Friday:
I have sought some clarity on the mystery suspension of a Brent Councillor I alluded to recently.  Apparently an application for a suspension was made, and a junior Labour Party official is said to have approved it.  Shortly afterward, Brent Labour Group was written more formally by the Labour Party and told there was no valid grounds for suspension.  therefore the councillor was restored as a member of the Group he should never have been removed from.

What is more interesting is why Cllr Muhammed Butt is engaging in such distractions during Sadiq Khan's campaign.  Barbara Pitruzzella is an excellent candidate and I would be shocked if the Kilburn by election turns out to be anything other than a solid win for Labour.  Although Sadiq Khan is leading in the polls, I am less certain of his winning.  The Tories smear tactics are desperate but there would be no point in sinking that low unless they thought they had a prospect of success.

It is odd for the Labour Leader of Brent Council to be trying to stir up problems in the Labour Group in the run up to such an important vote.
There is surely no mystery regarding the identity of the councillor in question when you consider the evidence available to anyone who follows this blog.  We know that Cllr Butt can be terrier like in his pursuit of those who get on the wrong side from a previous case. LINK

More recently Cllr John Duffy (Labour Kilburn) has stood up for residents and courted unpopularity with his leader in the process. The most recent stand was over the out-sourcing of litter penalty notices:

Below are some of the previous occasions on which Cllr Duffy raised issues which the leadership may have preferred to sweep under the carpet.

Jan 31, 2016 ... I understand that Cllr John Duffy, who last year claimed he stepped in to stop a flawed policy that would let Veolia pocket large sums in the multi ...
Jun 24, 2015 ... Councillor John Duffy (Labour Kilburn) reveals in his blog today LINK that he is snubbed by the Council's Labour leadership and some other ...
Sep 6, 2015 ... Kilburn Labour Party Party steps into Duffy dispute. Reliable sources inform me that Kilburn (Brent) branch of the Labour Party agreed at its ...
May 21, 2015 ... Amid the Tory Party infighting last night at the Brent Council Annual General Meeting there was a protest from Cllr John Duffy (Labour, Kilburn) ...
I hope this goes some way to help James Powney solve the mystery...


  1. Increase Your Word Power, Mr Powney. The one you're looking for in relation to Mr Butt is 'liar'. Why not just say it?

  2. Duffy, as I've said before, is a thoroughly decent man who works properly for his residents and isn't afraid to challenge. It's a pity that most of the rest are such sheeple. It's also a pity that they are mostly so invisible in their wards, with only a few exceptions.