Haringey Council: Zena Brabazon elected deputy leader months after being sacked by leadership

Cllr Zena Brabazon, pictured in November at an event in Tottenham, has been elected as deputy leader

Cllr Zena Brabazon, pictured in November at an event in Tottenham, has been elected as deputy leader. Picture: John Macdonald-Fulton/JMFfoto - Credit: John M Fulton

Sacked former Haringey Council leadership candidate Zena Brabazon returned to the cabinet last night as she was elected deputy leader of the council.

The vote was held at a behind closed doors meeting of the borough's Labour group. She defeated Emina Ibrahim, who also has a housing and estate regeneration portfolio.

At the meeting, Cllr Brabazon proposed a reform agenda to give a stronger voice to back benches. She won by two votes, 19-21, with one councillor abstaining.

The victory for the Harringay councillor is the latest twist in the long-running saga inside the local Labour Party, stretching back to the local election results in May 2018.

Cllr Ibrahim and Cllr Brabazon served as part of the cabinet "of all the talents" after Labour's win in Haringey, and Joseph Ejiofor became the first leader since the departure of Claire Kober.

In the leadership election itself, Cllr Ejiofor won the support of his fellow Labour councillors. However a week before, Cllr Brabazon won an indicative members ballot by a wide margin.

Then, on New Year's Eve, Cllr Brabazon was one of the cabinet members sacked by the leader. He cited a need for the cabinet to work closer together and stop "a number of persistent and personal conflicts."

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A source close to Cllr Ejiofor said that Cllr Brabazon's election as deputy leader means "both sides could have a say in the administration and challenge each other."

They also attributed Cllr Brabazon's win to backbenchers wanting an increased say, rather than as part of any factional divide.

Cllr Ibrahim, who has been a councillor for Noel Park since 2014, will retain her housing and estate regeneration portfolio.

Last night, Reg Rice defeated Gideon Bull 21-20 to become chief whip. Further cabinet elections will take place on Thursday, with the deadline for nominations closing tomorrow.