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Councillor Husain Akhtar found in breach of Harrow Borough Council code of conduct
A councillor has been found in breach of Harrow Borough Council’s code of conduct for harassing another councillor and making false allegations.
A meeting of the council's working group today found independent councillor Husain Akhtar had breached the code in relation to his involvement with the Harrow Council for Justice (HCJ) website last year.
One complaint came from Cllr Victoria Silver for a ‘personal and unwarranted attack’ from Cllr Akhtar, who had made unsubstantiated and false allegations against her on the HCJ website.
The second complaint came from Cllr Zarina Khalid who said she had suffered harassment from Cllr Akhtar as a result of material uploaded to the HCJ website.
Cllr Akthar did not attend the public meeting but had been interviewed by investigating solicitor George Curran.
In regards to the first complaint, Mr Curran said Cllr Akhtar stated he was not involved with the HCJ despite having donated the group a computer and allowing members to use his personal home computer.
Members for the panel were shown evidence that emails and publications from the HCJ sent in 2013 had been sent from Cllr Akhtar’s personal computer in his home.
Cllr Akhtar said he had not sent any of the documents himself and had given a statement that he had not been involved with the HCJ since he left in 2010.
However Mr Curran concluded that his statement was untrue and said: “In my opinion he has acted in a manner that could reasonably be regarded as bringing his office into disrepute.”
In regards to Cllr Khalid’s complaint, Cllr Simon Williams said the posting of the material on the HCJ website had been “a politically motivated attack to embarrass a former colleague who got the cabinet position he converted.”
The members of the panel upheld both complaints and agreed Cllr Akhtar had breached the council’s code of conduct.
Sanctions against the councillor will include further training on data protection, publication of a notice in the local press informing the public of the breaches and publication of a notice on the council's website.
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