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Barking and Dagenham councillor in charge of punishing rogue landlords failed to declare rental property owned by her husband

PUBLISHED: 12:38 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:05 01 May 2018

Cllr Laila Butt

Cllr Laila Butt

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A Labour councillor responsible for punishing rogue landlords is under investigation for failing to declare a property her husband rents out.

The rented property. Picture: KEN MEARSThe rented property. Picture: KEN MEARS

Barking and Dagenham Council launched the investigation after it was revealed that Cllr Laila Butt failed to list a property owned by her husband, Shahid Hussain Butt, on her register of interests.

The land registry lists the property as being under the ownership of Shahid Hussain Butt.

It is a criminal offence for a councillor not to declare their own or a spouse’s financial interests within 28 days of taking up office.

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

Post reporter Jon King visits the house in Barking. Picture: KEN MEARSPost reporter Jon King visits the house in Barking. Picture: KEN MEARS

The electoral register states four people each with different surnames live at the address.

Cllr Butt was first elected to represent the Abbey ward in 2010.

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

She said 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.”

A screenshot of Laila Butt's register of interests.A screenshot of Laila Butt's register of interests.

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.”

The house is missing from Cllr Butt's register of interests.The house is missing from Cllr Butt's register of interests.

The mother-of-three studied refugee studies and law at the University of East London and has been a member of the Labour Party since 2005.

Cllr Butt failed to respond to numerous requests from the Post for a comment.

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