Brent Council leader has ‘nothing to apologise for’ over library closures

Cllr Muhammed Butt was asked to say sorry by Lib Dem councillor Alison Hopkins

The leader of Brent Council has insisted he “has nothing to apologise for” over the closure of six libraries in the borough.

Cllr Muhammed Butt made the claims during a full council meeting yesterday (Monday), when he was asked by Liberal Democrat councillor Alison Hopkins if he wished to apologise to campaigners for the way the library situation had been handled.

Cllr Butt said: “I have nothing to apologise for, these closures were made because of cuts by your government putting us in an impossible situation.”

The decision to close libraries in Neasden, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise, Tokyngton, Preston and Barham was taken before Cllr Butt ousted Cllr Ann John OBE from the leadership in May this year.

However on Cllr Butt’s first day in charge of the council Kensal Rise Library was stripped of its contents in a 3am raid by security staff.

Cllr Butt has strongly denied he knew the clearance was going to happen.

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The meeting was the first chance for all three parties in Brent, Lib Dems, Conservative and Labour to debate to upcoming 2013/14 budget.