THE former leader of the council has declared that Ealing's cabinet member for transport should resign after 'misleading residents'.
Conservative Councillor Jason Stacey criticised Labour's Councillor Bassam Mahfouz after a Freedom of Information request showed that Ealing Council had not contacted the Department for Transport (DfT) regarding HS2 despite claiming otherwise.
But Mr Mahfouz spoke out to defend himself saying he had written to the DfT twice and in the past month had requested to meet with Transport Secretary Justine Greening to discuss the impacts of the high speed rail line on Ealing residents. He criticised the Conservatives for politicising the issue.
The FOI request made by Ealing Tories to the DfT showed this week that Ealing Council had made no representations to transport ministers or officials regarding HS2 from October last year to January.
Mr Stacey said: "This answer has exposed Councillor Mahfouz's claims. He has misled residents and is seeking to cover the fact that he has done nothing to help residents save their homes.
"His position is now untenable and he should resign."
He added: "Many residents in this borough are extremely worried about the impact of HS2 upon their homes and they have looked to Ealing Council to fight on their behalf. Councillor Mahfouz has consistently said that this is the case and at a meeting of the full council on January 31 he said that he was 'banging on every door in Government.'"
Mr Mahfouz denied the claims, saying: "It's rubbish to say we haven't written to the DfT. We have two letters from them and have had meetings with HS2.
"I'm focused on one thing to get the best things for residents in Northolt, Perivale, Greenford, Ealing and Acton despite the government's callous disregard for the needs of our residents.
"I'm one of the hardest working councillors."
Labour and Conservative councillors have previously pledged to support residents fighting against the £32billion Euston to Birmingham link. But Ealing Tories have criticised the leading Labour team for not joining the 51M action group, a collective of councils along the line planning to lodge a judicial review against the plans.
Mr Mahfouz said he is cautious about getting involved in a potentially costly law suit which might not offer results for Ealing residents.