Brent Conservatives slammed for snubbing London Living Wage in the borough

Tory councillors failed to support motion calling for mandatory minimum pay of �8.55 per hour

The borough’s Conservative Party have come under fire and been branded a ‘disgrace’ after failing to support the idea of bringing the London living wage (LLW) to Brent.

During a full council meeting last night, Labour councillor, Cllr Aslam Choudry put forward a motion encouraging Brent to become a ‘living wage borough’.

However, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties tried and failed to change the wording of the motion, a part of which implied that they had not supported the principle on a national level, a claim they denied.

Despite their failed attempts the Liberal Democrat party backed the motion regardless but the Conservatives did not. Speaking to the Times, Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said: “The fact that the Conservatives oppose decent pay for Brent residents is a disgrace.

“Brent is a low wage and high rent Borough. If we are to tackle deprivation it must be done through increased wages. “It is Labour that have made Brent a Living Wage Borough and residents will not forgive the Conservatives for opposing a fair days pay for a fair days work.”

The Living wage currently stands at �8.55 per hour.

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During the meeting Conservative councillor Cllr Harshadbhai Patel also expressed concerns that introducing the LLW could force smaller businesses to employ less staff because of rising costs and hire people without a legal work permit to avoid paying out.

Cllr Suresh Kansagra, leader of the Conservative Party, said: “We were all for supporting it but the point on the motion implied we don’t support it at a national level which is untrue.

“Too often they use motions to get a political shot in and we felt we didn’t want to support something that attacked us although we do agree with the principle.”