Three Brent Labour councillors apologised for wrongdoing in 2020
- Credit: Nathalie Raffray
Three councillors issued apologies last year after complaints around sharing alleged antisemitic material and breaking Covid-19 restrictions.
Brent Council’s latest annual standards report – presented to an audit and standards advisory committee on May 11, detailed complaints made against councillors in 2020.
It noted 11 complaints had been formally dealt with, one of which resulted in a breach of the councillors’ code of conduct.
Officers found Dudden Hill councillor Aslam Choudry breached several sections of the code after he shared a video in a local support group that suggested the US is controlled by a “Jewish lobby”.
The Labour councillor subsequently issued a public apology and was ordered to put forward a statement to be published on the council’s website.
It read: “I inadvertently shared an appalling and abhorrent antisemitic link for which I unreservedly apologise.
“The video link wrongly promotes offensive antisemitic tropes, falsely claiming that Jewish people control America. This is untrue, racist, and unacceptable.
“I can assure all concerned that I have absolutely no prejudice against any faith, or individual viewpoints and have always acted to stop any form of discrimination.
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“I am sorry for the hurt and offence this has caused.”
In a separate incident, Brent Council leader and Tokyngton representative Cllr Muhammed Butt and Alperton's Cllr Trupti Sangani apologised after they attended a prayer service at Ealing Road Temple at a time when such gatherings were restricted under Covid-19 guidelines.
Cllr Butt was accused of having "no credibility" as leader and urged to issue a public apology by Liberal Democrat Alperton representative Cllr Anton Georgiou.
Council officers did not uphold the suggestion the councillors had brought their offices into disrepute, but both acknowledged they had “inadvertently breached the restrictions on such events in place at the time and were apologetic about how this may have appeared to the public”.
Cllr Butt said he accepted "a mistake was made" but that his attendance was meant to be “a positive demonstration of well-intended community leadership”.
Similar statements were put forward by Cllr Sangani who said that, while she acted in “good faith”, she regretted the “confusion” around the timing.