Thursday, 15 September 2016

Councillor Butt Standards Investigation finding - not guilty, or not proven?

The Brent Standards Committee (Chair Cllr James Allie, Vice Chair Cllr Sandra Kabir) will receive a report at its meeting on Thursday 22nd (6pm Civic Centre) of the independent investigation into Philip Grant's misconduct complaint against Brent Council Leader, Cllr Muhammed Butt.

The 'headline' on the agenda and Fiona Alderman's report is:
Mr Penn’s report concludes that there is no evidence to support the complaint and that Councillor Butt did not breach the Members’ Code of Conduct
Richard Penn was an Independent Investigator and we should respect his overall conclusion, but the headline does not tell the whole story.  The only major difference with  Penn's July report is this paragraph:
4.6 In his written comments on my draft report Philip Grant has set out his reasons why he considers that Councillor Butt has breached the requirements of the Members Code of Conduct in respect of ‘honesty’, ‘’integrity’, ‘openness’ and ‘leadership’. He did not provide any new or additional evidence in support of his compliant but pointed to some of the details of the evidence that I collected through my investigation as supporting his contention that Councillor Butt had breached the Code. I have given his submission careful consideration but have found no reason to vary my finding that there is no evidence to support Philip Grant’s complaint that Councillor Butt has breached the requirements or obligations of the London Borough of Brent’s Members Code of Conduct in respect of ‘honesty’, ‘’integrity’, ‘openness’ and ‘leadership’ .
In introducing his detailed complaint to Mr Penn in a letter on August 25th, Philip Grant had written about the July report:
'Over the next few pages your report sets out seven separate ‘related allegations’, numbered (i) to (vii), and considers the evidence in respect of them, before reaching a conclusion about Cllr. Butt’s actions or conduct on each point. 

I agree that those seven ‘related allegations’ did need to be examined as part of your investigation into ‘whether or not Councillor Butt breached the requirements or obligations of the Members' Code of Conduct’, but I believe your report to be flawed because it then moves straight on to your finding at para. 4.6:

‘4.6  My finding is that there is no evidence to support this complaint, and that therefore there was no breach by Councillor Butt of the general conduct principles of honesty, integrity, openness and leadership.’

Although there is a reference to Cllr. Butt’s conduct being ‘entirely appropriate’ in the report’s conclusion on item (vi) of para. 4.5, there is no consideration in the draft report of how, on the evidence available to you, Cllr. Butt’s conduct measured up to the standards required by the general conduct principles. I would therefore comment, and ask you please to consider, that this part of your report should be re-drafted so that it does actually do what the Monitoring Officer’s letter requested, and investigate:
‘whether or not Councillor Butt breached the requirements or obligations of the Members' Code of Conduct.’ '
Despite Grant pointing out that Penn's did not look at the evidence he had gathered in terms of the requirements set out in the general conduct principles, Penn does not appear to have taken this on board.  In this respect the report going to Standards Committee is still flawed.

In para. 3.5 (evidence given by Cllr. Butt at interview with Richard Penn) on page 20 of the report it records that Penn asked Butt twice why he had involved XX (the Labour Party worker) in enquiries about Tayo Oladapo (which should have been a key point in considering whether Butt had put himself in a position where his integrity could be questioned), but no real answer was given to this question.

In the Findings section, at around page 42, there is an important passage which shows that it was only because there was no clear evidence that Butt knew that Cllr. Oladapo was dead which gives rise to the finding that 'there is no evidence to support the complaint':
'Councillor Butt said that on 2 March 2016 he had asked XX to go to the hospital to enquire about Councillor Oladapo. He contends that he did not know that Councillor Oladapo had died at the end of January 2016 until Mark Walker told him on 7 March 2016, and that he did not say to XX that he believed that Councillor Oladapo had been dead for a month. 
However, there is evidence from my investigation that Councillor Butt and others had speculated that Councillor Oladapo might be dead or that he might have been taken back to Nigeria by his mother to die. Councilor Butt did tell XX that he believed Councillor Oladapo might be dead but this appears to have been simply expressing an unsubstantiated possibility. This is very different from knowing that someone had died, and it is clear that Councillor Butt was not prepared to acknowledge this as a fact even after XX had spoken to a receptionist at the hospital who had told her that Councillor Oladapo had died.'
The final paragraph of the report gives the result of the Labour Party enquiry into this matter (Richard Penn had agreed with the Labour Party investigator that they would liaise, in order to avoid embarrassing each other with different conclusions!). This is what the Labour Party investigation found (our highlighting):
'On 6 July 2016 John Stolliday, the Head of the Labour Party Constitutional Unit, wrote to Councillor Butt to inform him that the Labour Party’s investigation to determine the facts around the death of Councillor Oladapo and how the Labour Party and Brent Council had been notified his death had concluded. Councillor Butt was informed by Mr Stolliday that the investigation had found no evidence that he had been aware with any certainty on or before March 2 2016 that Councillor Oladapo had died. Mr Stolliday said that the details of the conversation between Councillor Butt and XX are disputed, but no one else was present during their meeting or privy to the content of the conversation. Given this, and given that no other evidence has been presented, it was impossible to prove XX’s allegations were true beyond doubt, although there is no reason to believe that she doubted the truth of her allegations. The Labour Party had therefore decided that no further action would be taken in this matter and that there is no further case to answer.'
Overall, despite what Cllr Butt and Brent Council may claim, perhaps the verdict should be 'not proven' rather than 'not guilty'.

Following receipt of Richard Penn's draft report Philip Grant responded:
Honesty – you should be truthful in your council work and avoid creating situations where your honesty may be called into question. (Brent Council General Conduct principle)
1.1 The key issue from my complaint about Cllr. Butt apparently misleading the Council and his fellow councillors about the death of Cllr. Tayo Oladapo is what Cllr. Butt knew, and when he knew it, and whether he was truthful about these matters.
1.2 As your report says, at item (i) of para. 4.5:
‘He [Cllr. Butt] contends that he did not know that Councillor Oladapo had died at the end of January 2016 until Mark Walker told him on 7 March 2016, and that he did not say to [XX] that he believed that Councillor Oladapo had been dead for a month.’ 
1.3 Your report goes on to say:
‘However, there is evidence from my investigation that Councillor Butt and others had speculated that Councillor Oladapo might be dead or that he might have been taken back to Nigeria by his mother to die. Councilor Butt did tell [XX] that he believed Councillor Oladapo might be dead but this appears to have been simply expressing an unsubstantiated possibility. This is very different from knowing that someone had died …. My conclusion is that there is no evidence to support the allegation that Councillor Butt knew that Councillor Oladapo had died before he was advised of this by Mark Walker on 7 March 2016 following [XX]’s visit to the hospital on 4 March.’ 
1.4 Cllr. Butt had a duty to be truthful in his Council work, and there is a clear difference between himself and [XX] over the truth of what was said at the meeting between them on 2 March. In the circumstances, I accept that you had little choice but to give Cllr. Butt the benefit of the doubt in the absence of clear evidence to the contrary.
1.5 However, it is also a requirement and obligation of the “Honesty” general conduct principle that councillors must ‘avoid creating situations where your honesty may be called into question.’ Over the next few paragraphs I will provide examples, from the evidence available to you in your draft report (and first report) of what appear to be various versions of “the truth” given by Cllr. Butt in this matter. These show clearly that Cllr. Muhammed Butt was the main source of information about Cllr. Oladapo’s condition for both Brent Council and its Labour Group councillors. I would ask you to consider whether the differing versions of this information created a situation where Cllr. Butt’s honesty might be called into question.

1.6 At para. 2.9 (Interview with Chief Executive) of your first report to the Council of 4 July 2016, the following account of what the Council Leader told the Council is given:
‘The Chief Executive told me that the report to Full Council on 18 January 2016 had requested approval for further absence by Councillor Oladapo as he had been expected to attend that meeting following an organ transplant, but the week before the Council meeting the Council Leader had told her that Councillor Oladapo had been readmitted to hospital. The next Council meeting was on 22 February 2016 and the ‘pre meeting’ with the Mayor, the Leader and Opposition members was on 17 February 2016. At this pre meeting the Leader referred to Councillor Oladapo’s further absence saying that he had not heard from Councillor Oladapo or his family, but that he had become aware that Councillor Oladapo was no longer at the Royal Free Hospital. Councillor Butt said that he understood that Councillor Oladapo’s health had deteriorated and that his mother had taken Councillr Oladapo to Nigeria to die. The Chief Executive advised that she considered that the Council should now let Councillor Oladapo’s membership of the Council lapse and that a further report should not be submitted to the Council. However, the others present at the meeting considered that this would appear inappropriately harsh for a dying man ….’ 
1.7 Para. 3.4 of your draft report contains a long written statement from Cllr. Butt, which he provided to you in advance of your interview with him. His statement includes the following passage (on page 15 of the draft report):
‘At the full council meeting in February apologies for absence for Tayo were given and for his absence due to ill health were tabled. This was done in absolute good faith either that he was recovering somewhere here in the UK or that he had flown out with his mother to recover at the family home in Nigeria.’ 
1.8 Para. 3.10 of the draft report records what Cllr. Kabir, the Labour Group Chief Whip, told you at interview, including the following (at page 35):
‘In the early part of this year the Group Executive did not know what was happening in relation to Councillor Oladapo, except that he was in the Royal Free Hospital in Camden and that he was still ill. Councillor Butt had told her that he had been to see Councillor Oladapo and had been shocked at his appearance. A number of people wanted to go to the hospital to see him but were told that he did not want to see anyone. In February this year Councillor Butt was telling anyone who asked that Councillor Oladapo was still in hospital so far as he knew.’ 
1.9 Para. 3.14 of the draft report contains the text of an email sent by Cllr. Janice Long to the Labour Party internal investigation into this matter, which she provided you with a copy of. It includes the following passage at page 37 (presumably referring to an message which Cllr. Butt had sent to Labour councillors about the circumstances surrounding Cllr. Oladapo’s death): 
‘Cllr Muhammad Butt stated 'after December we lost contact with him.’ I could comprehend Tayo dying and our not knowing for a few days as there was not daily contact. But not knowing for 5/6 weeks is unfathomable. And the statement was wrong as we had been told that in January that he was getting better although he had had to be readmitted to hospital. So there was still contact after December.’
1.10 A final point on “honesty” which you may wish to take into account, in weighing up the balance of probabilities in this matter, is a comment made by Cllr. Pavey in his written statement to you at para. 3.7 (on page 33 of the draft report). Although I am not a member or supporter of any political party, and was not involved in any way with the campaign for leadership of the Labour Group between Cllr. Butt and Cllr. Pavey in May 2016, I am aware that such views might be coloured by that rivalry, just as Cllr. Butt’s close supporters also appear to have “rallied round the Leader” and stood up for him in your investigations. Despite this, I still think the following is a fair point:
‘However I also see detailed allegations from a very credible witness – which Cllr Butt has not produced evidence to rebut. I also see a potential motive for Cllr Butt to act in a cynical way – but I can see no reason for [XX] to act cynically. If it is one person’s word against another’s, I only see a motive for one of them to lie.’ 
On the matter of witness credibility, as para. 4.8 of your draft report says, the Labour Party’s own internal investigation into this matter found that: 
‘ … it was impossible to prove [XX]'s allegations were true beyond doubt, although there is no reason to believe that she doubted the truth of her allegations.’ 
This is the written statement Muhamed Butt provided to Richard Penn ahead of his interview:

I have to start by saying that my condolences and sympathies are with the family of Temitayo Oladapo, who died so tragically young.
In July 2014, Tayo informed myself, Cllr Pavey and Cllr Kabir that he had a minor operation and was recovering and would be back in a week or two, he gave no indication of what was wrong with him.
Tayo continued to attend meetings and chair meetings, and it wasn’t until around November 2014 it became apparent that his health was not good.
Early December 2014 Tayo asked to excused from the council due to his ill health, this was the first time he gave indication that he was suffering from ill health for couple of months.
In January 2015 he once again sent his apologies that he was not able to attend the council meeting, and he clearly indicated in his email that he was recovering. Cllr Kabir made contact with him via email to ask him if he needed any help or support.
In February 2015, we still had no clarity as to whether he would return back to the next full council meeting and we had to once again consider making a request to full council for an extension to his absence. Hence the request to extend as he was recovering.
No one was aware of his condition and I had to ask him what was wrong with him, and he sent in a letter via email and text message to myself. This was the only time we knew that he had [redacted] and that he would possibly require a [redacted].
In the mean time I had given the group updates on Tayos health and his extended absence.
In July 2015, we were already thing about Tayos attendance for the September 2015 council meeting but making contact with Tayo was proving to be difficult.
August 2015, I received a phone call from Tayo and he started crying on the phone to myself, He said he needed my help, I promised that I would go and see him the next day, which I did with Dawn Butler MP. Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi was another visitor who went with myself to visit Tayo
I was shocked at his condition. I had to speak to officers and health partners quickly as I was flying out the next day on holiday with my family. I was already on leave but straight after my visit to the Hospital I went to see Andrew Donald who was covering the chief exec (Christine Gilbert) as he had problems with paying his landlord, had to make sure that social services were aware of his condition and also to get our welfare team involved in order to provide the help and support he needed, as he was now no longer working.
I also made contact with my healthcare colleagues, to see what other support packages could be provided.
I have to thank everyone for their quick response to help Tayo, he had kept the full extent of his condition secret and it was only at this stage that he allowed us to talk about his health to others.
Tayo had his [redacted] in September from recollection and during my visits to him he seemed to be progressing well, and was looking forward to going back home. His condition was critical as the operation did not go well and he had a lot of bleeding and needed a lot of blood transfusion and was under 24hr care.
Around November 2015 he was allowed to go back home, he rang to let me know and I messaged him back and asking him to keep in touch. The group was informed that he was home and was recuperating and we were hopeful that he would back to the council soon.
Sadly he had a relapse in early January and had to go back into hospital. And that is when we started to lose contact with him.
The only point of contact I had was his mother, and she was the next of kin in this country as he did not have any other relations that we were aware off, I did ask about his siblings but they were either in Nigeria or America. The mother also spent time in Nigeria, her trips to the UK were sponsored by Tayo.
Tayos sister made contact with myself, luckily I took the call in my car from America, taking the call in my car allowed the number to be stored on the cars call list, the call list on my phone is constantly updated due to the number of calls and this was the only way I was able to make any contact with the family otherwise her number would have been lost and there was no way of making any contact with any family member.
The sister was asking me to look after Tayo as she was so far away and her family was in Nigeria, I said I would do what was
required to be done.
We had a council meeting in February and I was trying to make contact with Tayo but to avail. I contacted some previous councillors who knew Tayo well, Mary Arnold, Benjamin Ogunro and Michael Adeyeye, to enquire if they had been able to make contact with Tayo or his Mother. They said that they had not been able to as the mother was now taking responsibility for him and did not want them to go visit him as well.
I sent messages via WhatsApp to his sister asking her to contact me as I wanted to know how I can contact their mother, as I could not get through on the phone number I had for her, the messages were ignored.
Cllr Ernest and I made visits to the hospital to see if we would be allowed to see him, but we could not find him. We started on the 10th floor and walked down to the 4th trying to see which ward he could be in.
The information that we could get was that he had possibly been discharged and only comes in now and then as required, we enquired as to his health and the stock response was that as we were not Next of Kin they could not tell much more than that.
Mary Arnold and Benjamin Ogunro implied that the mother had flown out of the country and had possibly taken Tayo with her.
I once gain tried to make contact with the sister and the mother but to avail. No one could confirm where the mother as well.
At the full council meeting in February apologies for absence for Tayo were given and for his absence due to ill health were tabled. This was done in absolute good faith either that he was recovering somewhere here in the UK or he had flown out with his mother to recover at the family home in Nigeria.
I had a catch up meeting with XX the Labour Group’s Borough Organiser on 2nd March 2016, where we discussed campaigning and support for the group and Cllr. Tayo did come up in that discussion as we were concerned that just having two ward councillors there was placing an unfair burden on the other two, and we needed to find out what was happening to Tayo and what support could be provided to the other councillors.
I put forward a suggestion to XX that would she mind going to the hospital to see if she would have better luck to find out if Tayo was still in hospital receiving treatment or if she would mind giving Tayos sister a call. I explained that Tayos sister
was not responding to my calls and messages. I had explained how Tayo had been ill since 2014 that he was in and out of hospital I wanted to make contact with him either way. I did say that if she does not want to contact her or go to the hospital, it was not an issues and it was entirely her decision and did not want to ask her to do anything that she felt uncomfortable with. She was amenable to the request. She said that she had no problem and she later messaged me in the evening to ask myself for Tayo’s sister’s contact number. I duly passed on the phone number to XX.
I did not hear anything from XX on this matter, On Monday 7th March I received a phone call from Mark Walker the campaigns director for Brent from London Labour Region giving me condolences for one of my councillors who had passed away, I was shocked and asked him who had died as I was not aware anyone had passed away. That’s when he said that he was told by XX that Tayo had passed away.
I spoke to the chief exec straight away and to Daniel Elton (Labour Group political assistant) about the situation.
We tried to confirm his death with the Registrars of both Brent and Camden, the information came back that there had been no death registered at either Registrars.
We then tried to make contact with the local doctors, as they also have to be notified of the death of their patient or when they are discharged, once again information was not forthcoming.
I asked Mark Walker to confirm with XX who gave her the information. I did ask XX to call me so that I could ask the relevant questions, but she responded with a message that I needed to speak to Mark Walker.
Mark and XX could not confirm who she had spoken to in the hospital. It was someone at the desk according to her.
No one could actually confirm that he had died. The death had not been registered at Brent. The death had not been registered in Camden. The doctors would not confirm anything to us. The family had not informed us.
I went to the family home with Daniel Elton and there was no response. We knocked on the neighbours’ doors with no response.
We had a Group Executive meeting prior to the Labour meeting the same day. I put the above to the Group Executive (Cllr Pavey, Cllr Pat Harrison, Cllr Sandra Kabir, Cllr Shafique
Choudhary and Cllr Bobby Thomas). XX was also present along with Daniel Elton.
The one thing I did say at the Group Executive meeting was that I was not prepared to make any statement until it had been confirmed that Tayo had passed away.
I gave everyone in the room the option to make the announcement that they thought that Tayo had passed away, and everyone was in agreement that we cannot make a statement about Tayo’s death until we were 100% that his death was confirmed officially.
I had communicated this to Mark Walker and had been in touch with him.
The chief exec was now involved in trying to ascertain the facts as to whether he had died and was making all efforts to find out what had happened.
At no time did anyone from Region make contact with the borough commander, the decision to contact the borough commander was made by the chief exec. On 10th March in the evening the borough commander told the chief exec that they had located Tayo, they found out that he had died on 29th January 2016 and had been in the morgue ever since his death. There was no one available from his next of kin to register the death.
The very next morning everyone who needed to be informed from the ward councillors, the labour group, all other councillors, including the group leaders, the council and the announcement for the calling of the by election was made.
We still had no record of his death, which was not registered until Tayo’s mothers return to the UK. The death was actually registered on the 11th of May 2016.
In the meantime, I was still trying to make contact with the family. It was with extreme difficulty we managed to make contact with the family who also had problems with their visas.
XX states her involvement in the matter involved her finding out that Tayo had died on the 29th of January which is confirmed as the date of death by the borough commander and that this information was made public on the 11th of March, which is also correct as this was announced by the Chief Exec and I also made contact with the ward councillors, the Kilburn labour party, the regional party, all councillors including opposition party members once the information had been verified that he had died and was not abroad as had been suggested by a few
She clearly states in her email that she spoke to London Region Mark Walker and not her line manager (Cllr Pat Harrison) and that the only time I was informed of the death of Tayo was by Mark Walker on 7th March.
I am surprised that she feels that I asking her to contact Tayo’s sister caused her some concerns, as she was in agreement that we needed to make some contact with the family, but when she was instructed to contact the sister by Mark Walker to make that contact with the sister and to report back to him only, she had no problems at all.
This meant that my request had now been nullified and the person now giving her instructions was in fact Mark Walker and I had been taken out of the equation.
She tried to make contact with the family and she also had no response from the sister, which just shows that the family was not communicating with anyone, which reinforces what I have said that I was not able to contact the family or the next of kin, neither was the Council able to make contact with the family or the next of kin to get any information about Tayo.
She has confirmed that the only time I knew that Tayo had passed away was on the 7th of March, when Mark Walker contacted me in the morning. Mark Walker and XX both had known he had passed away the whole weekend and chose not to share the information with myself until the 7th of March.
Mark Walker rang me and said he was sorry to hear that one of my councillors had passed away, he did not mention any names and I was taken aback and asked him who had died, that’s when he said that it was Tayo.
Mark went on to say that he would like to start the process for the by-election, I agreed that this would be the right course of action, but I needed to have official confirmation that he had passed away. Having someone phoning saying Tayo had passed away who was not related to Tayo was probably not going to be enough to confirm that he was dead and may not be enough to say we had to start a by-election.
He could not answer the questions as to who confirmed the death, was the family informed and was the death registered.
I made the chief exec aware of the situation, made the group chair aware and the political assistant aware of what was happening.
Efforts were being made to contact the family, to ascertain from them that he had died. I also visited the family home, knocked on neighbours’ doors and asked Cllr Bobby Thomas if he would be able to go in the evening to see if there was anyone at home.
At no time did I contact the borough commander nor did Mark Walker make contact with anyone from the council or the borough commander. The chief exec after having tried to make contact with Tayo’s family and partners who may have been able to assist, unfortunately they could not shed any light as to whether Tayo had died, she made the decision to call the borough commander and ask for his assistance in trying to find out what had happened to him.
It was not until the evening of the 10th of March that the borough commander confirmed to the chief executive that they had found Tayo and that he had died on the 29th of January and his body was still in the hospital morgue, where it is still today.
The chief exec on the 11th called the by-election and all persons were informed of his death.
The report of his absence was approved 5 times at Full Council and the reports have always been publicly available, and the Kilburn Times reported his absence as well.
To make any assertion that I would be able to hide the death of a person for any gain is laughable and preposterous.
The number of people involved and kept informed of Tayo’s ill health and death, this would have been an impossibility. The list of people involved is as below, and is not an exhaustive list.
1  The Labour Group Exec comprising of myself, Cllr Kabir, Pavey, Thomas, Harrison, Chaudhry
2  The whole Labour Group
3  Brent Council’s Cabinet
4  The Labour Group Campaign Forum
5  The Kilburn Labour Party
6  The Chief Executive
7  The Borough Solicitor
8  Head of Member Services
9 The  Mayor of Brent
10 The Conservative Group leader
11 The Lib Dem Group leader
12 The CO of Brent NHS
13 Dr Ethie Kong, Chair of Brent CCG
14 Mary Arnold
15 Benjamin Ogunro
16 Michael Adeyeye
17 XX
18 Brent North Party members
19 Brent Central Party members
20 Brent Council previous Chief Executive Christine Gilbert
21 Strategic Director and Acting Chief Executive Andrew Donald
22 Phil Porter, Director for Adults and Wellbeing
23 Benefits staff
24 Tayo’s landlord
25 Mark Walker and London Labour Region staff

These are the people I had direct contact and involvement with in order to keep everyone informed of Tayo’s health and situation.
I still have messages on my phone between myself and Tayo’s family, members of the Labour Party, Cabinet members and others that I will be able to show and email to help with the investigation.’

1 comment:

Philip Grant said...

I know that the blog above is a lot to read, but here is a further extract from my comments (of 25 August 2016) to Richard Penn on his draft report which readers may wish to consider:-

'There are still a number of features of his [Cllr. Butt's] account of his actions which seem odd to me, and perhaps to you, which could raise doubts about his openness (and honesty and integrity).

 Cllr. Butt appears in his statements to put himself forward as the person who was closely involved in contact with Cllr. Oladapo, and main provider of information about his condition to the Council and his colleagues. Yet at the key moment, Cllr. Oladapo’s death, Cllr. Butt claims to know very little.

 Cllr. Butt claims to have been shocked when he was told, in a telephone call from Mark Walker on 7 March 2016, that one of his councillors had died. However, he had already told the Chief Executive, and others, at a Council pre-meeting on 17 February that Cllr. Oladapo’s mother had taken him to Nigeria to die. It does raise the question of whether the “shock” was because he thought that Mr Walker was referring another councillor, and not to Cllr. Oladapo, who he already believed to be dead, even though he did not officially “know” him to be dead.

 Cllr. Butt says in his written statement (para. 3.4, at page 14) that Cllr. Oladapo’s sister in the USA ‘phoned him in January 2016, ‘asking me to look after Tayo.’ However, he then claims that in February 2016 that sister would not answer or return his calls.

 Cllr. Butt also says in his written statement that Cllr. Oladapo’s mother was his point of contact over her son’s health. But Mrs Oladapo appears to have returned to Nigeria after her son’s death without contacting Cllr. Butt.

 In his interview with you, as recorded in para. 3.4, at page 21, Cllr. Butt says that ‘Councillor Oladapo had given him and Dawn Butler authority to talk with Councillor Oladapo's medical team.’ Despite this, Cllr. Butt claims that he was not able to get any information from the hospital about Cllr. Oladapo during the key period.

 Cllr. Butt has referred in evidence to his visit to the Royal Free Hospital during the first half of February 2016, to try to visit Cllr. Oladapo, and this visit has been described in detail in a written statement by Cllr. Ezeajughi (para. 3.19, at pages 40-41 of the draft report) who accompanied him. They claim that despite extensive efforts, they were not able to find Cllr. Oladapo, or find out any information about him. By contrast, it appears that [XX] went to the reception desk at the hospital on 4 March, and was told that Tayo Oladapo had died at the Royal Free Hospital on 29 January 2016.'