Thursday 15 March 2018

Barnet Conservatives lose control of Barnet Council as well liked Mill Hill Councillor quits party whip

Happier Times - Councillor Sury Khatri as Deputy Mayor
Following on from the news, first broken by the Barnet Eye, that several Conservative Councillors have been deselected, well respected Mill Hill Councillor Sury Khatri has quit the Conservtive Party whip in the Council chamber. This means that Barnet Council is now a No Overall Control Council.

 It seems rather odd to me that they are happy to reselect Councillors such as Reuben Thompstone, who has presided over Barnet failing an OFSTED inspection of childrens services under his administration, requiring assistance from Essex Council, whilst deselecting Sury who is well liked and who is generally recognised as having done a good job.

The whole situation is really quite unprecedented. Sury Khatri was Deputy Mayor in 2016-17 and most local people assumed that as he was both a well respected local figure and had served several important roles in the administration, that his reselection for the Mill Hill seat was a simple administrative matter. I had emailed Sury regarding the Federation for Small business manifesto last week and as an aside asked if he was standing, to which he replied "I am standing and hoping my application will be confirmed by the Selection Committee after  my interview this Sunday."

Following his deselection, I asked him for a comment on the Barnet Tories press release. Sadly his response was unprintable.

We have the situation where Councillors could call for an extraordinary general meeting of the Council and sack the leader, Richard Cornelius. This would also enable the Opposition Parties, to nominate new Committee chairs and start the work of unravelling the mess bequeathed by the current Conservative administration. If this were to happen, several senior Tories would lose their generous allowances, in the tens of thousands for some. I doubt that would do the plotters reputation much good and any disgruntled, deselected councillors may well have the opportunity to leave their ex colleagues a lovely parting present.

If, as the rumour mill would have it, the deselections are part of a plot to appoint a new leader of the

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