Council leader Cathy Scott is expected to face a leadership challenge at the annual meeting of Kirklees Labour Group on Monday night.

Clr Scott’s crisis-hit administration is under threat after disappointing election results which saw Labour lose four seats and its overall majority.

This year five Labour councillors have also quit, sparked by the national party’s stance on Gaza. There have also been questions raised about Clr Scott’s leadership style.

One of Labour’s senior figures, Clr Mus Khan, became the latest councillor to resign at the weekend and Clr Scott’s Cabinet has already been depleted with the election defeats of Mussarat Pervaiz (Dewsbury West) and Jackie Ramsay (Dewsbury South).

There will also be a vacancy for deputy leader as Clr Paul Davies has already announced his intention to stand down to concentrate on his bid to become MP for the Colne Valley.

A fourth member of Clr Scott’s nine-strong Cabinet has also gone. Golcar councillor Elizabeth Reynolds stood down at the elections so her Learning and Aspiration portfolio is now vacant.

Huddersfield Hub understands Clr Scott could face a leadership challenge from Golcar councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet member for finance and regeneration, and experienced former Cabinet member Carole Pattison (Greenhead).

Clr Moses Crook (Holme Valley South) – currently Cabinet member for housing and highways – is thought to be a possible for deputy leader.


Clr Graham Turner


Clr Carole Pattison (left) with former councillor Naheed Mather

Clr Mus Khan with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer


In January Clr Ammar Anwar (Dewsbury West) quit Labour in tears over leader Sir Keir Starmer’s failure to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. He was followed in February by Crosland Moor & Netherton councillors Jo Lawson and Imran Safdar and also Ebrahim Dockrat (Batley East).

The four councillors formed a new group, Kirklees Community Independents Group, which supported Independent candidates at the local elections. Five Independents delivered a knockout blow to Labour in previously ‘safe’ seats.

Mr Dockrat stood down at the elections but two of the newly-elected Independents have now joined the Kirklees Community Independents Group – Tanisha Bramwell (Dewsbury West) and Ali Arshad (Heckmondwike).

With Clr Khan quitting the party, Labour is now down to 30 seats but could continue to run the council as a minority administration.

The current make-up of the council is: Labour 30; Conservative 15; Liberal Democrat 10; Kirklees Community Independents Group 5; Independents 5; Greens 4.

Another Labour councillor is currently under an “administrative suspension” imposed by the Labour Party.

Dewsbury East councillor Paul Moore has been charged with causing a public nuisance and carrying on a business with the intent to defraud creditors or for other fraudulent reasons. The allegations relate to a Covid testing business based in Dewsbury.

The Labour Party said the suspension had the “automatic effect of suspending the Labour whip on the council” though a council spokesman said he remained a member of the council’s Labour group.


Senior Labour councillor Mus Khan quits party over ‘deep concerns’ with leadership of Sir Keir Starmer


In the aftermath of the election results, Clr Scott – who has led the council since last August – said she hoped to continue as leader. She said it was “back to the drawing board” and that “we need to listen more to the community.”

Those remarks were seized upon by Tory leader Clr David Hall (Liversedge & Gomersal) who said: “Let us hope when Clr Scott says ‘back to the drawing board’ she really means that the Labour Party will actually listen to the voters who gave her administration such a drubbing.

“The public do not support their harmful schemes such as the introduction of parking charges in small towns and villages, their library proposals or the wholesale closure of public buildings. Labour must alter its course.

“I fear that these are simply words to try and give the appearance that things will change. The Labour administration has a record of ignoring the public and not listening to sense. Let’s hope they change but I won’t hold my breath!”

There might yet be more resignations from the Kirklees Labour group with a source saying: “A couple more may be teetering on the edge.”


Councillor in tears as he quits Labour Party during emotionally-charged debate over horrors in Gaza