Political row breaks out in Brent over Queen’s garden party invitations
Liberal Dems and Conservative councillors claim tickets unfairly distributed
A political row has broken out over claims that tickets given to Brent Council for an annual royal garden party have been unfairly distributed.
Each year the Queen hosts the event at Buckingham Palace where representatives from local councils in London are each given three tickets.
But for the last two years, the event has been attended exclusively by Labour councillors with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats missing out.
Cllr Reg Colwill, deputy leader of the Conservatives in Brent said: “I think it’s disgusting that the leading party has taken all the tickets and turned what should be a celebration into a political statement.
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“There are people who have been on this council for 20 years who would love to represent the borough at the palace. We didn’t even know the party was happening until it was too late.
“It’s real pettiness, and these people are running our borough.
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‘‘How do they expect people to trust them?”
Cllr Paul Lorber, leader of the Brent Liberal Democrats said: “The council should be evenly represented and the event could also be used for inspirational members of the community as well as just for councillors.
“If it is the case that they have hijacked this then it just goes to show that, as they have done with the mayor’s role, they are politicising what should be a party neutral thing and that is completely unacceptable.”
A spokesman for the Brent Labour Group said they were only given two tickets this year because of the Diamond Jubilee but admitted both attendees where from their group.
He added that Labour would usually split tickets evenly.
He said: “Had we had a third ticket we would have offered it to the opposition as always.”
The Local Government Association, which provides the tickets, said there are no official rules as to how local authorities should distribute the tickets.