A POLICE watchdog has come under fire over how it has been spending its £50,000 budget.

Councillor Susan Hall, leader of the Conservative opposition on Harrow Council, questioned items from the Harrow Police and Community Consultative Group budget over the last two years.

She said: “Looking through the accounts of the last two years, the amount of money spent on catering I find absolutely unacceptable.

“There's absolutely no question about there being any dishonest behaviour from any of the management committee, and I applaud the work Sonoo Malkani has always put into this group.

“But as a elected member it's absolutely right and proper that we challenge money being spent if there's a possibility it is not for the public benefit.”

Cllr Hall raised at Monday night's monthly meeting spending on catering for parties for the Mayor and Police Borough Commander, yoga workshops, as well as £200 listed for tickets to the Albert Hall.

But Ms Malkani, who chairs the group, reacted angrily to the issue being raised, saying: “We don't spend money on a knees-up.

She added: “I find this very distasteful, I thought in this country you are innocent until proven guilty, and I want evidence to see of Albert Hall tickets.”

The details came out in a discussion on the budget of the group, after it was asked to open its accounts by Harrow Council.

Ms Malkani said she had shared spending details in good faith, and has subsequently explaned any items of spending in full.

Cllr Hall refuted the suggestion that she was accusing the group of wrongdoing, but said she would not personally have spent some of the money in the way it had been spent.

Councillor Navin Shah, assembly member for Brent and Harrow, jumped to Ms Malkani's defence, saying: “The comment from the council is this organisation is viewed as an active and engaged group.

“I would have thought any concerns about the priorities and what funding it should get is something that should not be picked up on an individual basis. That's something that needs to be agreed as a strategic policy.”

Ms Malkani closed down the debate by saying she would decide whether an extraordinary general meeting should be held to discuss the accounts of the last two years.