A ‘CONSERVATIVE’ administration has been installed at Harrow Council, according to the London Labour Party, who have moved to condemn the rebel breakaway faction.
The rebel councillors of the Independent Labour Group, which instigated a breakaway from Harrow Labour Group, were expelled from the Labour Party for five years – just 24 hours after the Observer revealed on Thursday last week they were attempting to rejoin in a dramatic U-turn.
The national Labour Party has confirmed the nine members of the Independent Labour Group, including Harrow Council leader Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar, will not be allowed to rejoin the party despite their efforts to do so, as Labour rules indicate that members are automatically ineligible to be or remain a member when they join a different political party.
The fallout has seen Mr Idaikkadar install two Conservative councillors – group leader Councillor Susan Hall and deputy leader Councillor Barry Macleod-Cullinane – into his new cabinet as non-voting members. The Observer can also confirm that more than 20 committees that advise cabinet on crucial decisions will be chaired by Tory councillors.
A spokesman for London Labour Party said: “Sadly, a minority of Harrow councillors who were elected under the Labour Party banner have, though their own naivety, chosen to install a Conservative administration. This is not what the people of Harrow elected them to do.
“They have broken their promises to Harrow voters, burned their bridges with Labour, and have clearly been totally out-manoeuvred by the Tories. They are out of their depth and sinking fast.”
Ms Hall has downplayed the role of the Conservative Group in Mr Idaikkadar’s administration.
She said: “This statement would be flattering if it wasn’t so ridiculous, but it’s clear that the Labour spin machine is now just making things up. Harrow has an Independent Labour administration. They have all the decision-making positions on cabinet and chair the most important decision-making committees.”
The new Labour Group leader, Councillor David Perry, has expressed concern over the new council make up.
He said: “On some committees it is an important role to chair. What I am concerned about is these Conservative policies which are now going to be more prominent in the council.”
The Independent Labour Group spokesman said: “Of course we are disappointed that in a rapid reaction, the Labour Party has expelled us without giving careful consideration to their own procedures. We have written to the Labour’s National Executive Committee to appeal against our expulsion from the party.”