Saturday, May 14, 2016

Council leader accused of covering up a councillor's death to avoid a by-election

This morning I tweeted an extraordinary story from the Evening Standard:
The leader of one of Labour's biggest London councils faces a party investigation over allegations he tried to “cover up” a colleague’s death to avoid a by-election. 
A former Labour staffer claims Brent chief Muhammed Butt told her to keep the councillor's death secret to avoid the election, which sources claim was set to weaken his leadership. ... 
Councillor Tayo Oladapo suffered from a severe liver condition and was absent from meetings for months before dying on January 29. It took six weeks for the party to confirm his death, in which time most councillors believed him to be alive and even approved his allowances. 
But a whistleblower has now claimed that Mr Butt did know, and asked her to enquire about the death while keeping it secret.
The Standard also says that Butt denies the allegation and "insists it is part of a plot to topple him".

We may know more after the ruling Brent Labour group's AGM today.

Lord Bonkers tells me that he knows of at least one case where an MP died halfway through a parliament and was returned at the following general election. But then people were less demanding of their elected representatives in those days.

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