Brent Council Labour leadership challenge: Cllr Roxanne Mashari launches bid against Cllr Muhammed Butt
PUBLISHED: 12:07 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:40 03 May 2018
A Welsh Harp Labour councillor has launched a leadership bid against Cllr Muhammed Butt to "transform" Brent Council should she be re-elected tomorrow.
Cllr Roxanne Mashari launched her leadership challenge the day before the public heads to the polls and three days before the Labour Party AGM, which is taking place this Saturday.
The 31-year-old told the Brent & Kilburn Times: “It’s a strictly positive campaign. I’m standing to try and be a unity candidate, build on the progress we’ve made since 2010 and take the council and the borough to the next level.
“The scale of the challenges we face, we are going to have to be more transformative in our approach.
“There are huge levels of destitution and poverty in the borough which are already too high, consistent in areas like South Kilburn, Stonebridge and Harlesden for decades. We have to change the story of this borough in fundamental areas.
“I’m not talking about tinkering around the edges – I’m talking about a real shift in terms of how we operate and how we focus.”
The former cabinet member, who became a councillor in 2010, stepped down from her role as the lead member for regeneration, growth, employment and skills in December 2016, having previously been lead member for environment and neighbourhood.
It’s not the first time Cllr Butt has faced a leadership challenge.
Cllr Neil Nerva failed in his bid to oust him – two weeks after winning his Queen’s Park seat in 2014.
In May 2016 , Cllr Michael Pavey launched a leadership challenge against the leader and resigned from the cabinet four months later citing “differences” with Cllr Butt.
Ms Mashari, who last year chaired a scrutiny panel into the high use of foodbanks in Brent, added: “This is not about disparaging anyone. It’s not to say we haven’t made progress or Cllr Butt hasn’t done good things. We are in a critical point in time for Brent with service savings to make, the universal credit roll-out, and foodbanks at capacity – now it’s time to take things up a step and be transformative. I want to see Brent be a flagship Labour council in the UK and that’s where I want to take us.”
Cllr Butt has not yet responded to requests for comment.