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Councillor in charge of punishing rogue landlords failed to declare rental property

A Labour councillor tasked with clamping down on rogue landlords has found herself in hot water after failing to declare a rental property owned by her husband.

Cllr Laila Butt, Barking and Dagenham Council’s cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, is under investigation by her own council after failing to list the property owned by her husband, Shahid Hussain Butt, on her register of interests, in accordance with the law.

The property, located in Barking, also fails to appear on a compulsory private landlord register which is a breach of council requirements.

Tamkeen Shaikh, chairwoman of Barking Conservatives, has called on council leader Darren Rodwell to suspend Cllr Butt from the Labour Party and sack her as a councillor in the Abbey ward.

She wrote in a letter to Cllr Rodwell: “I’m sure that honest Labour members would be appalled to learn that a person with, at best such a negligent attitude to their responsibilities, should be promoted by their party.”

In a joint statement from the Barking and Dagenham Labour group and council, a spokesman said: “We take very seriously the allegation that has been made about Cllr Butt, which we were made aware of on April 20.

“We immediately referred the matter to the council’s monitoring officer and asked for an investigation to be carried out.

“Cllr Butt is in complete agreement with this and is cooperating in full.

“It is right that an independent process is followed. For this reason, we are not able to add anything further until the investigation has been completed.”

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