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Cllr Neghat Khan: Nottingham City Council elects new leader

Councilor Neghat Khan has been elected as the new leader of Nottingham City Council.

The former chairman of Robin Hood Energy and Dales ward councilor will take over from David Mellen, who this year announced he was stepping down after five “challenging” years.

Cllr Ethan Radford, who represents Bulwell, has also been selected as deputy leader and will take over from Cllr Audra Wynter.

The Labor council effectively declared bankruptcy by issuing a Section 114 notice in November and the Government appointed commissioners to help run the authority in February.

A meeting of the Nottingham Labor Group to select a new leader was due to take place in April, but the ruling party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) stepped in to oversee the election.

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The NEC interviewed potential candidates and suitable candidates were to be presented to the Labor Group to choose from at a meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 7 May.

However, the NEC only selected Cllr Khan as a suitable candidate and she was installed as the new leader before the meeting.

The move left some members unhappy.

According to the Labor Party, the main purpose of the NEC is to provide strategic direction for the whole party.

It is made up of representatives from every section of the party, including the Shadow Cabinet, MPs, councillors, unions, socialist societies, Constituency Labor Parties (CLP), Young Workers and BAME Labour.

Speaking about her new role, Cllr Khan said in a statement: “I am delighted to be taking on the roles of Nottingham Labor Leader and Nottingham City Council.

“We know there are challenges ahead and I look forward to working with colleagues to make positive changes for our city.

“We’ve had 14 years of funding cuts by the Tories.

“We will work hard to mitigate the impact of these cuts, supporting our communities and delivering for the people of Nottingham.”

Cllr Khan was appointed on May 7 and will officially take up her leadership role on May 20 during a meeting of the full Council.

She has previously held a number of senior roles, including portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, safety and inclusion in 2022.

Cllr Khan was also a director of Robin Hood Energy before being appointed chairman in 2019, taking over from Cllr Steve Battlemuch, who continued as a director.

The collapse of the council-led energy company in 2020 cost taxpayers around £38m and was cited as the reason for the authority’s lack of financial resilience in issuing a Section 114 notice last year.

Significant government cuts of around £100m every year over the past decade, as well as rising demand and costs for social care and homelessness services, have also been blamed for the council’s dire financial situation.

As well as installing Cllr Khan, Labour’s NEC also elected members for other positions.

Cllr Matt Shannon, who was elected last May to represent Castle ward, will become leader.

The Deputy Whips will be Cllr Helen Kalsi and Cllr Sana Nasir.

Nottingham Labor chairman will be Meadows councilor Mike Edwards, while Sulcan Mahmood will become treasurer.

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