Slough BC and its majority Labour group now have different leaders after deputy leader Sabia Hussain (Lab) was yesterday sacked by leader Sohail Munawar, who was last week suspended from the Labour party.
The move follows a row arising from an abortive meeting intended to recommend that Roger Parkin be appointed as chief executive. Cllr Hussain raised objections to Mr Parkin’s suitability for the role but Cllr Munawar backed him.
The suspension of Cllr Munawar means he is still leader of the council but is outside its majority group, which Cllr Hussain now says she leads as the elected deputy group leader.
Cllr Hussain told LGC: “I have been removed as deputy leader and the leader said there were irreconcilable difference between us, but I was voted in by the Labour group and I’m deputy leader of the group and the leader is suspended.”
She said the chief executive appointment was now due to go to full council on 28 November but she would advise the group “to vote to defer an appointment until everything can be properly investigated”.
Mr Parkin has been acting chief executive since the departure of Ruth Bagley in mid-2016.
Remarks by Cllr Hussain in the published minutes of the appointments sub-committee meeting in late October say she objected to Mr Parkin’s proposed appointment because there was a “commonly held view that Mr Parkin performed poorly in the initial testing of candidates and was not recommended for the shortlist, yet he was shortlisted, which should not have occurred”.
The minutes further state that Cllr Hussain said of Mr Parkin “on numerous occasions his behaviour and conduct has fallen short of the high standards expected from the role he has applied for.”
“His offensive phone messages have been consistently reported in local news and on more than one occasion he has been disciplined for his messages. It is documented that he was abusive and physically aggressive to [Ms Bagley],” the minutes say.
The Labour party has not said why it suspended Cllr Munawar. He and Mr Parkin have been contacted for comment.