Julian Bell Ousted as Leader of Labour in Ealing

Cllr Peter Mason set to replace him as borough chief

The new Labour leadership team. L-r - Deirdre Costigan, Peter Mason and Bassam Mahfouz
The new Labour leadership team. L-r - Deirdre Costigan, Peter Mason and Bassam Mahfouz

Related articles

Ealing Councillor Apologises for Accepting Cannes Hospitality

Claim Made That Ealing Should Have Got Levelling Up Funding

Change at Transport in Ealing Council Cabinet Reshuffle

Financial Boost for Ealing Foodbank

Concerns Raised That £30 Million Lent By Ealing Council at Risk

Residents Groups Unconvinced By Ealing's New Planning Policy


Sign up for a newsletter from ActonW3.com, ChiswickW4.com and EalingToday.co.uk

Julian Bell’s tenure as leader of the Labour Party in Ealing borough is at an end after his fellow councillors ousted him at a meeting this Monday evening (10 May).

Cllr Peter Mason is set to replace him as council leader. The change of leadership will be officially confirmed at the council AGM on 18 May.

He quit the council cabinet last November after a vote of no confidence among Labour councillors against Julian Bell failed by one vote.

Cllr Mason, who represents Southall Green ward, later said that he was unhappy about the council’s stance on planning decisions being made in the area.

He joined the council’s cabinet in 2016, taking on the housing portfolio in 2018 committed to delivering 2,500 genuinely affordable homes in the borough by next year. He still serves on the Old Oak Park Royal Mayoral Development Corporation Planning Committee and is National Secretary to the Jewish Labour Movement.

He is a trained town planner, holding an MSc in Urban Regeneration from the Bartlett School of Planning. He spent five years at City Hall working on public health, transport and infrastructure and is a sales director of Commonplace a system for community consultation which is used by the borough to survey resident opinion including on Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes.

He also launched Ealing Together, the support network bringing voluntary, faith and community groups together to build resilience and support for communities during the Covid-19 crisis. He currently represents Southall Green ward.

Cllr Mason said, “I am determined to demonstrate to the residents of our borough that Labour is on their side.

“Under my leadership, Ealing will be an open, inclusive and transparent council that engages and involves residents in tackling the big challenges we face.

“As we navigate the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, our efforts will be focused on supporting an economic recovery grounded in bringing well paid, good jobs back to our borough, re-greening our neighbourhoods and relentlessly tackling poverty and inequality.

“As someone who grew up in a single parent family on a council estate in the dying days of the Thatcher government, I’m proud to have been elected to lead our borough and to make change happen for those who most need it, just as the last Labour government did for me.“

Cllr Deirdre Costigan was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Group, and will become the Council’s first openly lesbian Deputy Leader at the Council AGM.

Cllr Costigan, who represents Northolt Mandeville ward, moved to London from Ireland almost 30 years ago, and she says she fell in love with the diversity of our city and made her home here. She worked in the public sector before becoming a UNISON trade union official.

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz will continue to serve as the Labour Group’s second Deputy Leader.
A new council cabinet will be appointed in the next week along with a series of announcements relating to the Council’s new priorities. The new leadership team will formally take over following the AGM.

Ealing Council leader Julian Bell
Julian Bell has served as council leader for over a decade

According to a member of the local party, the vote was partly prompted by a lower than expected winning margin for the Labour candidate for the Greater London Assembly in the recent election with the majority falling by 4 percentage points as the Conservatives, the Lib Dems and the Greens all made ground.

On behalf of the Ealing Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr Gary Malcolm congratulated Cllr Mason.

Cllr Malcolm added, "He said that 'Ealing will be an open, inclusive and transparent council that engages and involves residents in tackling the big challenges we face.'

"I hope therefore that on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) he will do the honourable thing and either listen to vast majority of residents who want to see the LTNs removed - or hold a referendum to settle the argument once and for all.

" Under his leadership, Ealing Labour needs to clean up our dirty streets and light up our streets properly so that residents are safer from being a victim of crime after the Labour cuts to lighting made over the past few years.

"Councillor Peter Mason needs to ensure that our open spaces are protected such as Warren Farm, which includes a rich, diverse range of flora and fauna. Open spaces are essential to the mental health of Ealing’s residents as we have seen during three Coronavirus lockdowns.

"He also needs to listen to residents and ensure that the planning process is clean, transparent, and builds homes that are suitable for both families and those who need social housing, rather than large numbers of towers that people do not want under the false pretence of ‘affordable housing’."

Cllr. Gregory Stafford (Conservative), Leader of the Opposition said, "On behalf of the Conservative Group, let me send my congratulations to Cllr Mason on his election as Leader of the Labour Group. Following over a decade of Cllr Bell's tenure, Ealing has been crying out for a change of Leader and direction. Labour simply haven't been listening to local residents and this is their opportunity to correct this error.

“However, Cllr Mason was a prime architect of the disastrous Low Traffic Neighbourhoods; under his tenure as Housing Cabinet member, the blight of skyscrapers across Ealing accelerated; and as a local councillor he has ignored the plight of people in Southall.

“Labour don't just need a change of Leader but a change of leadership.

“To have any chance of rebuilding the trust of local residents, Cllr Mason needs to scrap LTNs, stop the skyscraper overdevelopments and bring in proper independent monitoring of air quality in Southall.”

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact info@neighbournet.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.


May 12, 2021

Bookmark and Share