A confident political newcomer tried and failed to dislodge the leader of Brent Council, with Conservative opposition labelling the move 'madness'.

Newly-elected Labour councillor Neil Nerva challenged his group leader Muhammed Butt for the top-dog position at the party's annual general meeting only days after Mr Butt led the party to a considerable victory in the local elections.

Conservative opposition councillor Reg Colwill told getwestlondon : "There are those in politics who are all about 'me me me', but the timing here is madness.

"You should work your way up, earn the respect of your colleagues and party, and that is exactly what Butt has done.

Some nerve! Newly-elected Neil Nerva, on the right.
 

"To challenge him right after he has achieved such a great victory, it is ludicrous to even attempt it."

The party also elected a new cabinet which will form Brent Council's administration for the next four years.

Councillor Michael Pavey successfully challenged incumbent Councillor Ruth Moher for the deputy leader position.

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The stronger communities portfolio will go to Councillor James Denselow, while Councillor Krupesh Hirani will continue as lead member for adults, health and wellbeing.

Responsibility for regeneration and housing goes to Margaret McLennan, and Councillor Roxanne Mashari will now serve as cabinet member for employment and skills.

Councillor Keith Perrin will serve as lead member for the environment, Councillor Pat Harrison was elected to serve a second term as Labour group chair while Councillor Sandra Kabir will take over as Labour's chief whip.

Group leader Mr Butt said: "I'm looking forward to getting started on delivering Labour's manifesto commitments to the people of Brent - lowering energy bills for local people by up to £200, creating 3,500 new school places and building 3,000 affordable homes.

"This is the team that led Brent Labour to our historic victory last week. I know that this is the right team to lead on our efforts to make life a bit easier for the 315,000 people who call our borough home.

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"Together, over the next four years, we're going to show local people the true value of a Labour council."

Current deputy mayor Councillor Kana Naheerathan was selected as the group's nominee for borough mayor, while Councillor Lesley Jones was selected to serve as his deputy.