ACCUSATIONS of racism are being strongly denied by Harrow Labour Group leader Councillor David Perry.
On Wednesday Harrow Council Leader Thaya Idaikkadar announced that he and eight other members of the Labour Group had broken away to form their own Independent Labour Group in protest at Mr Idaikkadar being ousted as Labour Group leader at their annual general meeting on April 15.
Mr Idaikkadar, who is the first Sri Lankan leader of a council in the UK, has claimed this week since forming his rebel Labour faction that there were racist elements to him being replaced as Labour Group leader.
Councillor David Perry, who replaced Mr Idaikkadar as Labour Group leader in April, rubbished such claims.
He said: "I strongly deny and would challenge the negative unfounded accusations of discrimination made against myself and the Labour Group in Harrow.
"Over many years, I have personally thoroughly enjoyed working with all communities in Harrow. I have a proven record over the past two years in particular whilst working as the portfolio holder for community and culture.
"My work has brought communities together and I have enjoyed this work immensely."
The Harrow Labour Group moved to echo these sentiments.
"The Labour Group categorically deny and challenge the accusations that Councillor Idaikkadar or anyone else has been discriminated against in any way, shape or form."
The fallout from the split led to Harrow Council's cabinet to be dismissed, with Mr Idiakkadar announcing his new cabinet on Tuesday which controversially features two Conservative members alongside five Independent Labour Councillors.
Conservative Group leader Susan Hall said: "The Labour Group has made it clear that they view working with Conservatives as abhorrent. Thankfully, though we may differ politically with the Independent Labour Group, they seem to share our view that the most important thing is that the council can function for the benefit of Harrow’s residents.
"The Conservative Group will do what it can to help steady the ship."