HARROW Council’s leader could be ousted from the hot seat by colleagues after just six months in post.
Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar was replaced as Labour group leader by fellow cabinet member Councillor David Perry following a ballot at the group’s annual general meeting on Monday evening.
Mr Idaikkadar had assumed the top job late last year following the resignation of Councillor Bill Stephenson on health grounds, and had set out his aims for the borough in an interview with the Observer.
There will be a vote at the next full council meeting on May 23 to see if Mr Perry, the community and cultural services portfolio holder, succeeds Mr Idaikkadar, the property and major contracts portfolio holder, as council leader.
Mr Perry said: “I am honoured to hold this position and I am looking forward to taking the Labour group into the next election in 2014 and beyond.
“On behalf of the Labour group I would like to thank Thaya for all his hard work and dedication in serving the people of Harrow as deputy leader of the council and then stepping up as leader when the former leader, Bill Stephenson, suffered ill health.
“Thaya took over the leadership of Harrow Council in November 2012 at what was a crucial time facing the council. His leadership steered the council through a very difficult budget setting process when the council’s finances were being cut by government. He has introduced some excellent ideas which sit at the heart of our Labour values in helping the residents of Harrow who are most in need.
“We shall continue this important work on behalf of our residents and the Labour administration will continue with its positive vision for the future of the borough.
“Only following the Labour group second annual general meeting on April 29, will I be in a position to make a formal announcement on who will form the cabinet and also the portfolio responsibilities.”
Opposition Conservative group leader Councillor Susan Hall said: “I think this decision exposes the civil war in the Labour group for all to see.
“If Mr Perry does succeed in becoming leader, he will take on a poisoned inheritance, and one he played a major part in creating since as a member of cabinet since 2011 he voted for and agreed with Labour’s council tax increase and the cuts which are killing services across the council.”
At the same meeting, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Harrow, Councillor Navin Shah, was selected as group secretary and Councillor Margaret Davine, the adult social care, health and wellbeing portfolio holder, faced no challenge to her role as deputy Labour leader and therefore deputy council leader.