Barnet Conservative Group remains the majority group on Barnet Council despite the resignation of one of its members, according to Council officers.
Councillor Sury Khatri resigned from the Conservative Group to sit as an independent yesterday following the Hendon Conservative Association’s decision not to reselect him for Mill Hill ward on Sunday.
This leaves the Council composed of 31 Conservatives, 30 Labour councillors, 1 Lib Dem, and 1 independent, meaning it is numerically in no overall control.
However, a Barnet Council spokesman said: “We can confirm that Cllr Khatri has notified the council of his resignation from the Conservative Group and that he will continue as an Independent Member. The Conservative Group remain the majority Group although they no longer have the overall majority of Members.”
Councillor Dan Thomas, who is deputy leader of the Council as well as chairman of the Hendon Conservative Association, had previously said it was inappropriate to speculate on why members of the Association chose not to reselect Cllr Khatri as the process, governed by Conservative Party rules, is by secret ballot.
Speaking to the Barnet Borough Times, he added: “The Party’s decision not to re-select a small number of councillors is nothing to do with policy, an imagined ‘coup’ or a non-existent faction trying to take control. The selection process is such that no single person can control it and our new candidates are yet to be chosen.”
Barnet Council operates under the committee system, by which theme committees are composed according to the overall political balance in the chamber, giving Conservative members a majority of one. This is not expected to change for the remaining two committee meetings before the start of the pre-election period on May 27th.