Conservative councillor accused of using Kenton politician’s death to score points

Cllr Warren denies doing anything wrong. Picture credit: Jan Nevill

Cllr Warren denies doing anything wrong. Picture credit: Jan Nevill - Credit: Archant

A rift between rival Conservative councillors in Brent has deepened following claims that the death of one of them was being used to score points.

Cllr Bhiku M Patel died of a heart attack aged 70

Cllr Bhiku M Patel died of a heart attack aged 70 - Credit: Archant

Cllr John Warren, leader of the Brondesbury Park Conservative Group, announced that he had the majority party following the death of Tory councillor Cllr Bhiku Patel two weeks ago.

The Conservative Party was split into two when Cllr Kansagra, Cllr Colwill and Cllr Patel were given the positions of leader, deputy and chief whip of the group respectively after last year’s local elections.

Their party colleagues Cllr Warren, Cllr Carol Shaw and Cllr Joel Davidson, who represent the Brondesbury Park ward, distanced themselves and created their own party group.

Cllr Warren’s speech at a council meeting yesterday evening was met with cries of ‘shame shame’ after he made the claims minutes after tributes were paid to Cllr Patel in front of his family.

Councillors Joel Davidson, Carol Shaw and John Warren are the Brondesbury Park Conservative Group

Councillors Joel Davidson, Carol Shaw and John Warren are the Brondesbury Park Conservative Group - Credit: Archant

His relatives had left before Cllr Warren made his speech.

Cllr Patel, who died of a heart attack while on holiday in India, held the Conservative seat in the Kenton ward alongside party colleagues Cllr Suresh Kansagra, and Cllr Reg Colwill.

Most Read

Cllr Colwill said: “The timing of Cllr Warren’s comment was atrocious. Bhiku had just been buried the day before.

“Cllr Warren’s got the largest group as it is but he hasn’t taken anything up in the Conservative Party.

Councillors Reg Colwill, the late Bhiku Patel and Suresh Kansagra from the Kenton ward

Councillors Reg Colwill, the late Bhiku Patel and Suresh Kansagra from the Kenton ward - Credit: Archant

“We can’t work with him, we have morals on our side, and he hasn’t any morals on his side.

“You have to like somebody a little bit to work with them.”

Dismissing Cllr Colwill’s claims Cllr Warren told the Times: “I thought it was a reasonable things to say. The first part of the meeting was very respectful to Bhiku and his family and very good and the rest of the meeting was normal stuff.

“I can’t see what the fuss is about.”

A by-election in Kenton is expected to take place in March.

Related link: Brent Conservatives to split in political fall-out

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter