Conservatives take control of Harrow Borough Council after leadership vote

Harrow Times: Tory group leader Cllr Susan Hall is now leader of Harrow Borough Council Tory group leader Cllr Susan Hall is now leader of Harrow Borough Council

The new leader of Harrow Borough Council says she is delighted after taking power at last night’s extraordinary full council meeting.

Members voted for Conservative leader Councillor Susan Hall as leader of the council, replacing Cllr Thaya Idaikkadar, who leads the Independent Labour Group.

The final vote for the leadership between Cllr Hall and leader of the Labour group Cllr David Perry came at the end of an at times heated meeting.

After the vote Cllr Hall said: “To be the first female leader of the council I am absolutely delighted.

“During the meeting some members called the leadership a poisoned chalice, but I do not believe that. It will be hard work but we will do what is right for the residents of Harrow.

“Our priority will be to make Harrow a cleaner, safer and fairer place.

“It is an honour and a privilege to become leader of Harrow Council, and my colleagues and I are looking forward to getting to work straight away.

“We want a council which does what our residents want, which looks out for them, and which is on their side.”

In the final vote for leader Cllr Hall received 31 votes and Cllr Perry got 24, with five abstentions, and seven members of the Independent Labour Group voted for the Conservative leader.

During the meeting Cllr Hall put forward the motion for a vote of no confidence and the removal of Cllr Idaikkadar.

She said: “We have not come to this decision lightly and it is with a heavy heart we put forward this motion.

“In May we supported Thaya to steady the ship, but with only six cabinet members there was too much work.

“It is with regret we are in this position but this is the best thing for the council and for residents.”

Cllr David Perry said: “It is disappointing we are here today. This is not personal but it is for the best of the borough and the people we serve."

Both Conservative and Labour councillors voted overwhelmingly in favour of the motion and removed Cllr Idaikkadar as leader.

Earlier in the evening the Mayor of Harrow Nana Asante put forward a motion to adjourn the proceedings, claiming there were legal issues about the meeting.

Cllr Asante and other members of the Independent Labour Group claimed the meeting was against the council constitution.

The mayor said: “I want a roll call vote so we know who wants to uphold the constitution and we know who wants to ride roughshod over it.”

She failed to win the motion and Cllr Keith Ferry then put forward a motion to suspend 18 rules of procedure for the meeting to effectively stop the mayor from vetoing any of the proceedings.

Both Labour and the Conservative groups voted in favour of the motion allowing the meeting, including the vote of no confidence, and the vote for leader went ahead.

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