'Open Warfare' in Hounslow Labour Party Over Candidate Selection

Transport head Hanif Khan among number of high profile departures

Cllr Hanif Khan was entertained by Boris Johnson at Downing Street

Related Links

New Leader for Hounslow Borough Conservative Councillors

Lib Dems Win Largest Share of Euro Vote in London

ChiswickW4.com and BrentfordTW8.com

The Labour party in Hounslow is currently undertaking its candidate selection process for the May elections and a significant number of long-serving councillors are not making the cut.

Some observers believe that the new line up of councillors will mean that a challenge to current leader Steve Curran is likely to take place after the election in which Labour is widely expected to hold on to a big majority. Cllr Curran gained the leadership by just one vote after the last election and some claim that his supporters have been methodically removed to ensure that he does not retain the position when the new councillors pick their leader after the election.

High profile departures include Hanif Khan, who currently has cabinet responsibility for transport, former leader Jagdish Sharma, current Mayor of Hounslow Bishnu Gurung, Mel Collins and Surinder Purewal MBE.

Cllr Curran’s deputy Lily Bath was originally de-selected from her ward but after this reportedly caused uproar among members and she is now being retained in another ward.

In Brentford West, Guy Lambert will contest the new ward along with Cambridge graduate Lara Parizotto but there was disappointment for veteran councillor Mel Collins who was not selected for Brentford East where Rhys Williams and Marina Sharma will stand for Labour. Despite being 76, Cllr Collins had been seeking to remain as a councillor.

Cllr Hanif Khan has failed in bids to be selected in two wards, first in Hounslow West and then in Hanworth Park which he currently represents. It is thought unlikely that he will be selected for any of the wards that have still not chosen their candidate. Despite being a prominent supporter of the council’s Streetspace initiatives who was feted at 10 Downing Street for his work in promoting active travel, Labour insiders do not believe this was the reason for his failure to gain a seat but rather he was a victim of the complicated internal politics of the party.

Another high profile departure was Jagdish Sharma who has served on the council for 48 years part of the time as leader and was hoping to continue but failed to be appointed as the candidate for Hounslow West.

In Isleworth, Salman Shaheen and Sue Sampson are retained to be joined by John Stroud-Turp, secretary of Hounslow Labour.

Candice Atterton, who stood as Labour’s candidate in the London Assembly elections and a member of the cabinet has decided not to stand again to allow her to concentrate on her family.

One member of the local Labour party who asked not to be named said, “Steve has done a great job which was confirmed when Hounslow was named Council of the Year but he may have been the architect of his own downfall. The increase in allowances have increased the attractions of being a councillor and more people want these jobs. The result has been the ousting a number of effective and competent councillors who have served their community well. Whether this is an organised coup or not is hard to say.

“On Hanif Khan, I’d say that he has been an energetic and passionate councillor, but people hoping his ouster will see a reversal of borough transport policies are likely to be disappointed. For most of the people in the party Cycleway 9 and Streetspace are not issues they are particularly interested in. The more likely catalyst for a change of direction will be a different leader of the Conservative party when Johnson is asked to carry the can for the huge defeat his party suffers in May.”

The Brentford Today Facebook page describes the situation as ‘open warfare’ in the Labour party and quotes an unnamed senior councillor saying of the number of sitting councillors not being retained, "The person behind it is Cllr Samia Chaudhary. She is organising it on behalf of Cllr Shantanu Rajawat. He wants to become Council Leader and she wants to be Deputy Leader. They intend to replace Steve Curran. They are both in Steve's Cabinet and he has supported them. It's a stab in the back."

Cllr Rajawat represents the Heston West ward for which Lily Bath was not selected.

The selection process continues with Steve Curran and Katherine Dunne both up for reselection in Syon ward this Thursday (3 March).

Osterley and Spring Grove has yet to choose its candidates but sitting councillor Richard Eason will not be selected after he had the whip removed for criticising the leadership over transport policy.

The Chiswick ward candidates will be decided on Friday with Labour currently optimistic they will gain council seats in the area particularly in the new ward of Chiswick Gunnersbury.

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.

March 1, 2022

Bookmark and Share