Leader of Brent Council cleared of breaching code of conduct

Cllr Ann John OBE was accused of forcing councillors to vote against a planning application

The leader of Brent Council has been cleared of any wrong doing after she was investigated for allegedly forcing councillors to vote against a planning application.

Cllr Ann John OBE, was accused of attempting to sway fellow Labour councillors from voting for plans to change Old Union Hall in Union Road, Wembley, into a Hindu Temple.

A formal complaint and request to investigate the allegations was later made following receipt of a leaked email from Cllr Dhiraj Kataria, a labour councillor for the Welsh Harp ward.

However, the leader was cleared of breaching the council’s code of conduct following a 12 week investigation by an independent solicitor.

A report detailing the findings was presented to the council’s Standards Committee yesterday (2) for consideration who agreed that there was no evidence to corroborate any of the allegations made.

Cllr John, who is also a Stonebridge ward councillor, has called for Cllr Kataria to face a disciplinary hearing.

Most Read

She added: “In the meantime, I will continue to uphold the highest standards of honesty and integrity in decision making and I will always resist attempts by any sectional interests to over-ride the wider interests of the people of Brent”.

All councils are required to establish a Standards Committee as part of a new ethical framework for public authorities following the Local Government Act 2000.

The aim is to promote high standards of ethical conduct among elected councillors, independent and co-opted members.

The investigations relate to a vote which took place in 2010.