‘Cllr. Khan cleared’ shock, and other Labour Party witterings

In what surely must be the biggest surprise since Leicester won the Premiership, it appears that barrister Jonathan Auburn’s no doubt thorough review has cleared Cllr. Ahsan Khan of any wrongdoing, and he is to be restored to the Cabinet shortly.

Cllr. Khan’s adventures in bestowing ‘community awards’ are thus vindicated.

In a related development, I understand that the Cabinet has been increased in size, with the unimpressive Grace Williams and the Pilgrim Sharon Waldron joining, and the dispeptic Mark Rusling leaving – a development that of course makes a further call on the public purse.

More amusingly, it is said that Cllr. Wheeler’s bid to become chief whip narrowly failed, leaving the ageing Wood Street Lothario outside the Leader’s big tent, and likely to return to his old pastime of making mischief.

Finally, the local Momentum surge continues to make waves, with some previously quiescent councillors desperately trying to rebadge themselves as ‘lefter than thou’, and dire warnings being issues about the fate of many of the rest. Indeed, according to one source, the new crowd are intent on de-selecting virtually all of the current Labour incumbents.

Talking of which, it will be interesting to see what Momentum actually plans in terms of a local agenda.

The practical steps necessary to achieve its stated aims of openness and democracy in terms of the Town Hall are pretty obvious, and range from a substantive strengthening of Scrutiny; through reform of the Council’s PR machine (to banish spin); to the re-introcduction of neighbourhood engines of popular participation, such as community council’s; and finally the less tangible but in the end key objective of persuading both councillors and the Council as a whole to engage in genuine debate with residents (as opposed to stage managed ‘conversations’, with pre-determined outcomes) .

The question, then, is will Momentum have the courage of its convictions?

Or will one bunch of control freaks simply be replaced by another?

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