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A councillor charged with clamping down on rogue buy to let investors in the private rental sector has been caught failing to declare a rental property owned by her husband.
Labour councillor Laila Butt, Barking and Dagenham’s cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, has been placed under investigation by her own council. This is due to her failure to register a property owned by her husband Shahid Hussaid Butt. This is necessary in accordance with the law.
The rental property, which is located in Barking, also does not appear on a compulsory private landlord register. This is a further breach of council requirements, adding to the irony of Butt and the contradiction between her actions and responsibilities as a councillor.
Chairwoman of Barking Conservatives, Tamkeen Shaikh expressed outrage at Butt’s failure to declare a property. As a result, Shaikh has called on council leader Darren Rodwell to suspend Councillor Butt from the Labour Party, arguing that she should be dismissed as a councillor in the Abbey ward.
She wrote in a letter to Councillor Rodwell: ‘I’m sure that honest Labour members would be appalled to learn that a person with, at best such a negligent attitude to their responsibilities, should be promoted by their party.’
In a joint statement from the Barking and Dagenham Labour group and council, a spokesman stated: ‘We take very seriously the allegation that has been made about Cllr Butt, which we were made aware of on April 20. We immediately referred the matter to the council’s monitoring officer and asked for an investigation to be carried out. Councillor Butt is in complete agreement with this and is cooperating in full. It is right that an independent process is followed. For this reason, we are not able to add anything further until the investigation has been completed.’