Labour Splits Causes Loss of Harrow Council
Just days after the County Council elections and as we begin to look forward to the 2014 elections, which include all of the London Boroughs, one of the ruling Labour Groups in London has split. Harrow is one of those authorities which has switched between Labour and Conservative control.
In 2010 Labour won back majority control from a Conservative administration which had been in place since 2006. However, the ruling Labour Group has long been riven with factions and personal feuds. This has culminated in “a significant number” of Labour Councillor resigning from the ruling Group to form an “Independent Labour Group” including the Leader of the Council Cllr Thaya Idaikkadar. This break follows a successful Group leadership challenge from Cllr David Perry who was elected Labour Leader last month.
The Independent Labour Group claims to hold true to Labour value and principles but the personality clash which has led to the split surely means that the two rival Labour Groups will not work together and that the Council must now be considered under “no overall control”. Before the split Labour had 34 Councillors, Conservatives 25, Independents 3, and the Lib Dems just 1.
It is not clear how many Councillor have formed the breakaway Independent Labour Group but my sources tell me it will be “between six and ten”. It will also be interesting to see what happens in next year’s London elections. Will the Independent Labour Group run candidates against the official Labour candidates?
UPDATE: I have been sent this link which indicates that NINE Labour Councillors have resigned to form the new Independent Labour Group. The Official Labour Group therefore has the same number of Councillors as the Conservatives!