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Leader of Brent Council branded 'disgusting' for accepting Olympic tickets

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 August 2012

Cllr Butt posted this picture of himself at the opening ceremony on Twitter

Cllr Butt posted this picture of himself at the opening ceremony on Twitter

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Cllr Muhammed Butt critisized for attending opening ceremony

The leader of the council has come under fire for taking two tickets that were handed to the borough for the much sought-after Olympic Opening Ceremony for himself and a family member.

Cllr Muhammed Butt was presented with the tickets from the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG).

Although it was not stipulated what the spare ticket should be used for, Cllr Butt was criticised for not offering it to someone in the community.

After mentioning on social networking site Twitter that he was on his way to the ceremony, fellow twitter user Rachael Newberry, a member of the Friends of Kensal Rise group, which has been campaigning to reopen Kensal Rise Library, tweeted back: “Oooh, take one of us library campaigners with you, go on!”

Tickets for last Friday’s extravaganza were being sold for up to £2,000 ahead of the ceremony but LOCOG was unable to confirm how much the two tickets were worth.

Francis Henry, a Wembley resident who has been getting behind the campaign to reopen Barham Library, in Barham Park, branded it “disgusting”. He said: “I was mad. My wife, my daughter and I, and many other families have been struggling to get tickets, but the leader gets to go for free, why?

“If he had gone and chosen to take someone from the community that would be ok but to take another family member along is not fair. Why should council leaders be given all these perks?”

Defending himself, Cllr Butt said he had “a duty” to represent the borough. He said: “There are 300,000 people in Brent so I can’t possibly choose one resident.

“I was chosen as the leader of a council, as all other councils were, to go and represent our borough and we have a duty to be represented as we are an Olympic borough.

“I have declared it on the council website and have been completely honest about it; I cannot start refusing events where I am asked to represent Brent.”

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