Labour is making a bid to remove Clr Cathy Scott as leader of Kirklees Council saying she has “no legitimate mandate.”

Clr Scott quit the Labour Party but vowed to carry on as leader of the council just as then Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the date for the General Election.

The six-week election campaign effectively put council politics on hold but now, emboldened by Sir Keir Starmer’s landslide victory, Kirklees Labour Group is seeking to oust Clr Scott and reclaim power.

The Labour group has submitted a motion for a vote of no confidence in Clr Scott, which will be heard at a full council meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall on Wednesday July 17.

After she quit, Clr Scott formed a new group on the council, called Community Alliance, and was joined by five other former Labour councillors.

The motion, signed by the Labour group, says: “We believe that the current leader and their group have no legitimate mandate from this council or from the people of Kirklees.

“Leadership from this small and newly-formed minority party is not sustainable. We therefore resolve to see the current leader removed from office and for a new leader to be elected by this council.”



If the vote succeeds and Clr Scott is removed, there must be an attempt to elect a new leader.

As leader of the largest party, Labour’s Carole Pattison (above), will hope to take the top job but the Labour group falls well short of a majority and will likely have to do deals.

Since January 2024, 11 Labour councillors have quit the party – mainly over Sir Keir’s initial reluctance to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Labour lost its overall majority in May’s local elections as the Muslim community fielded their own Independent candidates.

Labour is now down to just 24 seats with the Tories on 15 and the Liberal Democrats 10. Another group, set up by Labour defectors, is the Kirklees Community Independents Group, which has six members.

The Greens have four councillors while there are four other unaffiliated Independents.

Clr Scott has formed a new Cabinet with four members of her group – councillors Habiban Zaman, Adam Zaman, Yusra Hussain and Masood Ahmed.

Clr Scott previously told Huddersfield Hub she wanted to run the council in a different, more inclusive way, bringing other parties onto the Cabinet.

She believed the time was right for a new cross-party way of working but there appears to be little enthusiasm for that on the fractured council.

It may be that Clr Scott will be forced out but that no other candidate will secure the 35 votes – the council has 69 councillors – to be elected leader.

In that case the leadership would revert to council chief executive Steve Mawson, who would take the post on a temporary basis.

There was a similar situation in 2016 when council leader David Sheard was removed and chief executive Adrian Lythgo stepped in. Back then Labour had 34 seats, just one short of an overall majority, and a U-turn saw Clr Sheard return within weeks.


Council leader Cathy Scott quits Labour and pledges ‘new era of collaboration and transparency’