New allegations over a “toxic and bullying” environment within Kirklees Council’s ruling Labour group have emerged following the resignation of a fifth councillor.

At the weekend Huddersfield Hub reported on the resignation of experienced Labour councillor Mus Khan, who criticised the direction of the national party under the leadership of Sir Keir Starmer.

In her resignation statement Clr Khan had the strongest condemnation for the national party but said the Kirklees Labour group should “prioritise principles over party loyalty, especially as our party’s values have diminished.”

Following the publication of our story, a source within the Labour group claimed that Clr Khan had only resigned from the party to block an investigation after she had been suspended.

The source said Clr Khan had been told on Friday morning that she had been suspended from the Labour Party and was under investigation for “a number of matters.”

These allegations were said to include “anti-semitism and co-operating with opposition parties to bring the Labour Party into disrepute.”

The source claimed that Clr Khan’s resignation came 24 hours after the suspension which was “seemingly in an effort to block the investigation.”

Council leader Cathy Scott set to face leadership challenge after knockout elections blow

Labour lost overall control of the council at the local elections with five Labour councillors in North Kirklees suffering big defeats to Independent candidates.

There was expected to be a challenge to Clr Scott’s leadership at the Labour group’s annual meeting and, Huddersfield Hub understands, Clr Khan submitted a nomination to become deputy leader as part of a leadership challenge.

It is claimed the allegations were made against her in an attempt to scupper the leadership challenge. It is understood the allegations of anti-semitism referred to a question asked by Clr Khan at an anti-semitism training session in January.

In a statement Clr Khan said: “The allegations against me are entirely baseless and reflect a toxic and bullying environment within Kirklees Labour Group.

“Over the past year, I have actively expressed concerns and was encouraged by colleagues to put myself forward for election as deputy leader to restore democratic processes.

“However, just before the leadership election, I was suspended based on unsubstantiated claims related to an anti-semitism training session held five months earlier. These allegations are used for grubby political manoeuvring.

“Given the circumstances, I decided that resigning was the best way to address my concerns about the party’s direction.”

Clr Khan follows councillors Jo Lawson, Imran Safdar (both Crosland Moor & Netherton), Ammar Anwar (Dewsbury West) and Ebrahim Dockrat (Batley East) in quitting the Labour Party.

After her resignation Clr Lawson described the Labour group as a “toxic swamp” saying there was no democracy or debate.

Huddersfield Hub understands that Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for finance and regeneration, and former Cabinet member Carole Pattison both intend to make separate challenges to Clr Scott for the leadership at the annual meeting tonight (Monday).