Councillor Whitney Ihenachor: keeping it in the familiy

A local resident writes:

‘If you check the Register of Interests on the LBWF website for Councillor Whitney Ihenachor, you will see she appears to be currently unemployed.  As with a number of other local Labour Group members, this is not unusual, but in Whitney’s case, does it obscure the fact that she is a full-time student at Glasgow University?

Eyebrows were first raised when Whitney was fast tracked through the Labour selection process by exempting her from the length of membership rule. At the time, assurances were sought that she would move her studies to London if selected (and elected), but these commitments, if made, were clearly neither copper bottomed nor made of cast iron.

The questions continued but were brushed aside as she had the backing of her neighbouring ward councillors, Cllr. Anna Mbachu (coincidentally her mother) and Cllr. Chris Robbins (Leader of the Council and family friend) who provided the know how required to navigate the Labour Party selection processes.

Election night saw Labour sweep the board in Leyton ward, and Whitey declared a councillor. Things then went quiet, but it recently emerged that a Labour Group panel was established to question her commitment, given that she was still a student in Scotland’s largest city. The interrogation was apparently led by the Secretary of the Labour Group, Cllr. Saima Mahmud – herself sister of Cllr. Asim Mahmood. The inquisition came to light when Cllr. Mbachu was witnessed in the Town Hall car park complaining bitterly that her daughter was being unfairly treated.

How this investigation even got off the starting blocks again calls into question the authority of the Leader, especially as he had gone to such lengths to ensure her selection as a Labour candidate. What happened next remains uncertain, but clearly her mother’s indignation and the Leader’s support was just enough to curtail any action.  The WF Councillor basic allowance of £10,000 a year must be a handy addition to Whitney’s student finances, but does it represent value for money for hard pressed Leyton ward residents?’

Of course those with longer memories will remember that Cllr. Ihenachor’s mother, Cllr. Mbachu, has a colourful reputation, having quarrelled with her local party members, been criticised for her absence at Council meetings she was paid to attend, and fallen foul of the Council’s Standards Committee for ‘threatening to slap her chauffeur’ –  all in the course of one tumultuous year!

Still, she clearly has a sense of humour, too, as witnessed by this YouTube gem: