TORY councillors unhappy at Harrow's Independent Labour administration are trying to force a vote on a new council leader.
The Conservative group - whose leader Councillor Susan Hall and deputy leader Councillor Barry Macleod-Cullinane sit as non-executive members of the cabinet committee - have asked the Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Nana Asante, to call an extraordinary council meeting for later this month in an effort to try to depose Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar.
Ms Hall said: "When nine Labour councillors felt sufficiently betrayed by their party and formed the Independent Labour group – with leader Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar sacking the cabinet in the process – we felt duty bound to help provide some stability at a turbulent time for the council.
"We had hoped that Independent Labour would heed our advice on protecting public realm services – street cleaning, management of parks and open spaces, refuse collection – and that investment would be made where Labour had cut.
"Unfortunately, the trend set by Labour has not halted, and people can see how filthy Harrow has become.
"Now with only eight councillors, we are concerned that Independent Labour cannot function as an effective administration.
"With only six councillors on the cabinet, too much responsibility is held by too few people, and we believe this is having a negative effect on services. Harrow residents deserve better; with the Conservatives committed to investing in front-line services, reversing the cuts and cleaning up the mess left by Labour.
"We have steadied the ship as we promised, but it now lacks the crew to ensure smooth sailing. Independent Labour were given enough time to prove themselves, and to invest in the services which matter most to residents, but have failed to do as such.
"It’s time for a new crew and a new captain.”
The ruling Independent Labour group have eight members and, intriguingly, both Labour and the Conservatives have 25 councillors apiece.
There are three Independents, one Liberal Democrat and one UK Independent Party member - who may end up being the kingmakers depending on who they side with.
The only three ways an extraordinary council meeting can be called is if the council passes a resolution to hold one, or if the mayor calls one, or if five councillors sign a requisition asking the mayor to call one and he or she refuses to do so within five days, after which the council's monitoring officer must automatically arrange one.
The Tories asked for their extraordinary meeting on the vote on the council leader to take place immediately after an extraordinary meeting already scheduled for September 16.
The council's constitution says the council leader ceased to be leader when "he/she is removed from office by resolution of the council following which the Council will elect a replacement leader at the same or subsequent council meeting".
But the council's portfolio holder for planning and regeneration, Councillor William Stoodley (Independent Labour), suggested things may not as straightforward.
Bearing in mind Mr Idaikkadar was re-elected council leader in May, four months ago, Mr Stoodley pointed to another part of the constitution which says the mayor can declare as invalid any motion (such as to remove Mr Idaikkadar as leader) that is "substantially the same as a motion which has been put at any meeting of the council in the last six months".
Furthermore, any motion that rescinds a council decision taken or is "similar to one previously considered" within the last six months needs the signatures of a quarter of the council, which the Conservatives could do since they have more than enough members.