Cllr Mili Patel
David Lammy MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary
It would have been Cllr Mili Patel's last Brent Cabinet meeting this morning as it was announced to the Labour Group tonight that she is stepping down as Cabinet Member for Children's Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care. In fact she sent her apologies for absence.
With the local council election only 6 months away I understand her responsibilities have been mainly taken over by Cllr Thomas Stephens already responsible as Cabinet member for Schools, Employment and Skills. Some of responsibilities have been transferred to Cllr Harbi Farah, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care.
There is speculation that the stepping down may be due to the promotion of David Lammy MP to Shadow Foreign Secretary - she is Lammy's Head of Office. Patel previously served as Senior Party Researcher (2015-2016) to Keir Starmer MP after nearly 7 years in the same role for Frank Dobson MP.
The changes considerably strengthens the position of Cllr Stephens who is regarded by Labour colleagues as in no way lacking in ambition.
Mili Patel's partner, Cllr Matt Kelcher, continues as Chair of Brent Planning Committee.
Since publication the Kilburn Times has followed up with a statement from the Council that contradicts the allocation of roles outlined above which came from a trusted Council source:
Cllr Mili Patel, who represents Harlesden, has departed the authority's top table and her 'safeguarding' portfolio will be filled by deputy leader Margaret McLennan.
A bounce back email from Cllr Patel states that she is taking maternity leave.
A Brent Council spokesman said: "Councillor Mili Patel has stepped down from her cabinet role to take time out. Deputy leader, Councillor Margaret McLennan, will take over the portfolio.”