Thursday, 14 May 2015

Brent Conservatives: splits, leaders and ultimatums

The split between the two Conservative groupings on Brent Council has widened following intervention of Conservative Campaign Head Quarters.

A Brent Conservatives' AGM was held recently attended by CCHQ and SE England officials at which Cllr John Warren was elected leader.

However the meeting was attended by only the three 'Brondesbury Park' Conservatives with the three 'Kenton Conservatives' absent.   I understand that the Kenton Conservatives had already held their own AGM of their 'official' group (recognised as such at the last Brent Council AGM) to which the Brondesbury Park Tories were not invited as they are not part of the group.

They elected Cllr Suresh Kansagra leader.

Conservative Campaign Head Quarters have now issued an ultimatum to the Kenton Group which expires at 1pm on Monday to accept Cllr Warren as leader following what they consider the constitutionally valid election, or forfeit their right to be considered Conservative Party councillors and to stand as Conservatives at the next local election.

Cllr Joel Davidson told me today that Brent residents had been 'ill-served by the weak opposition to Labour provided up to now by Cllr Suresh Kansagra and the Kenton Conservatives.'  He said that a stronger Conservative opposition would seek to represent not just Conservative voters but everyone who had not voted Labour.

Davidson went on to say that the failure of the Kenton Conservatives to vote for the Brondesbury Park no confidence motion in Muhammed Butt and the alternative budget proposals Kenton had put forward proved their cosy relationship with Brent Labour.

The results of the most recent AGM have been communicated to Brent Council officials ahead of the vote due to be held at the Council AGM on May 20th on who to recognise as the Principal Opposition Party.

Will Labour vote for Cllr Kansagra's group or the rather more militant Bondesbury Group?


  1. 'a stronger Conservative opposition would seek to represent not just Conservative voters but everyone who had not voted Labour'.
    Very generous of Cllr Davidson but I think he might want to rephrase the last part of that statement. Greens didn't vote Labour. Nor did TUSC supporters. Nor did the local Class War activists. Or UKIP people. Or most Brent babies. (Or, for that matter, my dog).

    Truly a 'Big Tent' initiative from the Tories ................

  2. My understanding is that Brondesbury Conservative Group has been renamed as Brent Conservative Group.

  3. hi guys

    Just to clarify my comment, Cllr Warren is already working with a number of groups who are far from pro-Tory in challenging the Butt Administration's wholly insufficient scrutiny arrangements.

    The reason we have become the "omnibus" Opposition is because there are 56 Labour Cllrs in Brent, and 3 more from Kenton who provide no Opposition at all; in fact their voting record suggests that they have been supportive of Brent Labour and the Butt Administration.

    Feel free to look at the minutes of Full Council meetings to see the number of times they have voted to support Labour - most notably voting against our motion of No Confidence in Butt.

    Cllr Carr also provides opposition but she is not in a Group as a sole Cllr.

    The Kenton Cllrs are welcome to join the Brent Conservative Group - as is any other Cllr of course! - with Cllr Warren as the properly elected leader out of last night's meeting chaired by the Conservative Party.

    They can also continue as an Independent Group, but make no mistake there is now only one official Brent Conservative Group going forward.

    I'm happy to respond to any further queries on this so please email me if interested.


    Cllr Joel Davidson -

    1. 'make no mistake there is now only one official Brent Conservative Group going forward.'
      As you've been approved by Conservative Campaign Headquarters, that'll be ' going forward to the 1930s' presumably.

      Mike Hine

  4. Butt is a weak Leader, devoid of even one strategic thought and is unable to communicate with his group or the public. Little wonder the leadership vacuum has been filled by Davani and Gilbert. The outcome of their rule at Tower Hamlets is now clear. So come on Labour councillors stand up for principles and probity.

    1. I second the motion:

      'So come on Labour councillors stand up for principles and probity.'

      I wonder if any of them will vote for it at their AGM tomorrow?

      Philip Grant.

  5. Cllr Joel Davidson, if Kenton Group fails to accept Cllr John Warren as their leader will they be expelled from the Conservative party?

  6. Wake up Brent Labour

    Nationally Tories will shake up Brent Council if Brent Councillors do not start acting on the systemic corruption at Brent Council.

    This will give Tories a Golden Opportunity to demonstrate Brent Labour incompetence if they sit and do nothing !!

    It is blindingly obvious to the outside world, but the Labour Councillors voted by Brent residents to scrutinize Council officers seemingly Speak no evil, Hear no evil and See no evil !!!

  7. Hi again all

    Cllr Warren has been elected at a properly authorised meeting of the elected Conservative Councillors. This meeting was chaired by officers and officials of the Conservative Party.
    All Conservative Councillors must join the Brent Conservative Group with the leadership positions as elected at our AGM or they will not be endorsed by the Conservative Party.
    All Councillors have been fully aware of the conditions of attendance at the AGM as laid
    down by the Conservative Party for the last two months.

    Cllr Joel Davidson

    1. Hi Joel
      Good to see your boys are at each other's throats again.
      Keep it up!


  8. Martin Cllr Butt will vote for Cllr Kansagra's group as technically his group is an extended part of Brent Labour Group. On Brent Council they are voting with Labour most of the time.

  9. Rumour has it due to Conservative HQ intervention Kenton Tories are considering joining the Liberal Democrats to ensure they ARE the main opposition at Brent Council.

    If so, will Cllr Shaw re-join them.

    1. Rumours are rumours. I wonder if Kenton Group still enjoys the support of their local Association.

    2. It would have been nice if Kenton group had been more vocal rather than siding with Brent Labour.

      Lib Dems have lost all respect.

  10. While I am not a Conservative (or a member of any other political party), I have to say that it is Cllr. Warren and his colleagues who have tried to provide an oppostion to Cllr. Butt and his "silent majority" at Brent Council for the past year.

    In my own efforts to "hold the Council to account" on various matters, most notably the Rosemarie Clarke Employment Tribunal case, I have not received any support from the "official" Conservative opposition, and generally no reply from Cllr. Kansagra to any emails I have sent, or copied for information, to him. Most recently, when I attended Scrutiny Committee on 30 April and was not permitted to present my Deputation (see guest blog of 30 April 2015 for details), the only non-Labour member of the committee, its Deputy Chair, Cllr. Reg Colwill of the "official" Conservative opposition, did not speak up in my support.

    In terms of numbers, no opposition is likely to get any motions passed on Full Council as it currently stands, but I would much prefer to have one which will speak out and try to hold the Labour Cabinet to account.

    Philip Grant.

  11. Brent Labour should step up to the plate if they want any chance of electing a London Labour Mayor.

    I bet Tories would love the opportunity in the coming months, to do the same as they recently did in Tower Hamlets and point to Labour corruption and incompetence in the lead up to London Mayor election.

    Ed Balls is now gone and Christine Gilbert is loosing allies in high places, so get rid of her. Gilbert protected Balls when he was floundering as Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and helping propel him into deputy when he could have been dumped at the time. He is now gone and so should Gilbert.

    For the greater good Brent Labour, end Brent Councils reign of terror.

    1. Fully agree.

      There has been far too much protecting people as they have served each other well at the expense of local people.

      The Emperor has no clothes and should be moved on !!

    2. Thanks for that final image.