Two investigations are being launched at Brent Council around the circumstances surrounding the sad death of Tayo Oladapo.
The first will look at the role of the officers, and the second relates to the role of Cllr Muhammed Butt. The two are entwined, so it makes sense for both to be conducted by the same person. I am gladdened to see that the investigator, Richard Penn, appears to be an experienced and credible person.
Whether Brent's Standards Committee has similar credibility is now about to be put to the test. I have suggested before that the record of the Chair does not inspire confidence. All the members will have to ask themselves whether a member of the public knowing all the facts would believe that they are free from bias.
For Cllr Sandra Kabir, I think this may well lead to her withdrawing from the discussion. As Labour Whip I would expect her to know what was going on in the Labour Group. She effectively is part of the procedures for the first part of the enquiry _ how the Council handled the issues and whether everyone did all they were supposed to do. If the report considers her behaviour, as it should, I don't see how she can claim not to be biased. Similarly, in judging Cllr Butt's behaviour, she was either involved (and therefore compromised) or not involved (which would be shocking.
The other committee members will have to consider whether the nature and closeness of their relationships with Cllr Butt constitute a barrier to sitting in judgement on his behaviour.