Brent Council's Chief Legal officer, Debra Norman, has turned down Cllr Abdirazak's reformulated complaint against Labour Leader, Cllr Muhammed Butt.
Norman refused the first complaint, breach of Members' Code of Conduct, on the grounds that Butt's actions were a Labour Party issue. Cllr Abdi then issued a second complaint, this time of political interference in the planning process, and Norman again says this is not a Council matter as Butt was operating in his party role:
It now appears that the only route open to Cllr Abdi is through the Labour Party's own disciplinary and complaints procedure.Your complaint is in essence the same complaint as the previous one. It remains the case that decisions about nominations to the Labour Group’s allocated seats on the Panning Committee are a party group matter. Involvement by Cllr Butt in that process was a party group activity and not activity in his capacity as a councillor.I can only consider an allegation of political interference in Brent’s planning system by Cllr M Butt on the basis of evidence of actions in his capacity as a councillor.As indicated in my decision in respect of your complaint, my decision on it was final, as provided for in the council’s procedure for dealing with such complaints. There is no available appeal or complaint mechanism in relation to that decision.
This may seem to be a storm in a Labour Party tea cup but it has great significance for Brent residents who feel the planning system is out of control with high rise blocks being approved across the borough, often not complying with the borough's own planning guidelines, and in the teeth of opposition from local people.