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Top councillors given the boot as Haringey leader cites ‘conflict’ in cabinet

PUBLISHED: 16:30 02 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:01 03 January 2019

The new cabinet (left to right): Cllr Peray Ahmet; Cllr Noah Tucker; Cllr Elin Weston; Cllr Charles Adje; Cllr Emina Ibrahim; Cllr Mark Blake; Cllr Joseph Ejiofor; Cllr Pat Berryman; Cllr Kirsten Hearn; Cllr Zena Brabazon. Picture: Haringey Council

The new cabinet (left to right): Cllr Peray Ahmet; Cllr Noah Tucker; Cllr Elin Weston; Cllr Charles Adje; Cllr Emina Ibrahim; Cllr Mark Blake; Cllr Joseph Ejiofor; Cllr Pat Berryman; Cllr Kirsten Hearn; Cllr Zena Brabazon. Picture: Haringey Council

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Haringey’s council leader Joseph Ejiofor rang in the new year by sacking two former rivals from his cabinet, blaming “persistent and personal conflicts”.

Cllrs Zena Brabazon and Peray Ahmet were fired from their cabinet briefs on New Year’s Eve. They had led on health and adult social care, and the town hall’s libraries and civic services respectively.

Cllrs Ahmet and Brabazon suggested their removals could have been down to policy disagreements.

But the Ham&High understands the town hall was also unhappy after a series of leaked emails over negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur over street cleaning services, purported to come from Cllr Brabazon. She has categorically denied this.

Cllr Ahmet told the Ham&High she was proud of her achievements in post and said: “I have fought very hard to commit to and maintain Osborne Grove [nursing home] and perhaps my strong stance has caused upset here, along with opposition to policies such as [a £35m investment] at Fortismere School.”

Cllr Brabazon said: “He’s the leader, it’s his cabinet. I suspect it’s to do with my opposition to his proposal to put money into Fortismere School.”

She also expressed her thanks to the community groups she had worked with and said she had been “thrilled” to lead the town hall’s new Fairness Commission.

Cllr Ejiofor confirmed that the council’s policy on Osborne Grove remains unchanged despite the sackings. Gordon Peters, who was one of those who battled to keep the home open, said he was “sorry to see” Cllr Ahmet go and added: “It’s always very concerning, as we have made progress in the last few months. I’d like to thank Peray for all her work.”

Cllr Ejiofor said: “I’d like to put on record my thanks to Cllrs Ahmet and Brabazon for their contributions to this administration. However, they need to understand my need for a cabinet that works closer together to deliver our manifesto and the eradication of a number of persistent and personal conflicts.”

Cllr Sarah James will take over on health, with Cllr Kaushika Amin replacing Cllr Brabazon on civic services.

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