DISSATISFIED left-wing councillors have "regrettably" split away to form their own faction within Harrow's council chamber.
The Independent Labour group has been created in the wake of the election of Councillor David Perry as the new leader of the ruling Labour group at its annual general meeting on Monday April 15.
This new eight-strong group announced its formation with Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar, who was deposed by Mr Perry but remains the leader of Harrow Council at least until the Mayor-making annual council meeting on May 21, as its leader today.
Councillor Krishna James, the Independent Labour group chairwoman, said: "It is with great regret that we have to form the Independent Labour Group. It was impossible to ignore the lack of fairness, equality and justice, and attempts to resolve matters have not been successful.
"The Independent Labour Group subscribes to Labour values and its members remain members of the Labour Party."
Eight councillors in total have joined the breakaway faction. The Independent Labour group originally gave the Observer nine names but Councillor Raj Ray has since confirmed he has not rebelled and is still a member of the Labour group.
The current Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Nizam Ismail, and the Deputy Mayor of Harrow and new mayor-elect, Councillor Nana Asante, are also among the rebels.
Twenty-six councillors are left in the 'ruling' Labour group - just one more than the Conservative opposition.
Consequently no one group has a majority of the council and throws into question the future administration of the authority.
Mr Akhtar said: "At the end of the day what matters is the residents of Harrow.
“We will welcome any positive suggestions. This is something that we have to work out, and it is ongoing.
“We want to have a key part in an administration. We are very open minded.”
Conservative group leader Councillor Susan Hall said: “Knowing the members of the new group as well as I do – some of whom informed me of
their desire to split a few weeks ago – I know they have not made this decision lightly.
“Conservatives believe in fairness and transparency; qualities which appear not to exist in the Labour group.
“We therefore support and welcome the decision of these councillors to form their own group, to make their voices heard, and to take a stand.”
Mr Perry told the Observer: "It is with huge regret to hear of the formation of an Independent Group of Councillors on Harrow Council.
"I would like to put on record that a small minority of Councillors have failed to accept the Labour Group democratic decision following a fair and transparent election for the Labour Group Leadership."
HARROW COUNCIL'S POLITICAL MAKE-UP:
Independent Labour 8
Liberal Democrat 1