Sheffield cabinet member under investigation 'stepped aside' from duties

Councillor Mazher Iqbal has been ‘temporarily stepped aside’ from his duties as Executive Member for City Futures: Development, Culture and Regeneration to allow for the independent investigation to take place into the complaint against him.

By Lloyd Bent
Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 9:41 am

Yesterday (June 1), The Star broke the story that Coun Iqbal was under investigation following a complaint of an alleged series of breaches of the code of conduct.

The complaint, submitted by Simon Ogden – former head of regeneration for Sheffield City Council – accused Coun Iqbal ‘a repeated succession of inappropriate behaviour’ which broke codes of conduct and ‘held the regeneration of Sheffield City Centre back’.

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Councillor Mazher Iqbal

These accusations, which Coun Iqbal ‘robustly denies’, include meeting with developers without other officers present and repeated delay and last-minute cancellation of public consultations, at the cost of tens of thousands to the taxpayer.

Councillor Terry Fox, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “Councillor Iqbal is defending this complaint robustly. However, I have stepped him aside from his duties, whilst the investigation is taking place.

"This will ensure that the investigation does not distract from the important work of the new administration, which will continue to focus on putting Sheffield first.”

During the course of the investigation, Councillor Iqbal’s portfolio duties will be undertaken by the Leader of the Council, Coun Terry Fox and Deputy Leader, Coun Julie Grocutt.

Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield City Council.

Yesterday Sheffield Lib Dems called for the ‘suspension’ of Councillor Iqbal for the duration of the investigation, and today Sheffield Greens have welcomed his ‘stepping aside’.

Coun Douglas Johnson, who leads the Greens in their co-operative control of the council with Labour, said: “I fully support the decision to suspend Coun Iqbal pending the investigation. This would be standard practice in any other context with such serious allegations. The Leader of the council has done the right thinking in removing Coun Iqbal from duties so it doesn’t prejudice the investigation.”

Due to the confidentiality around the process Sheffield City Council has said it is unable to comment further whilst the investigation is ongoing.

Gouglas Johnson, leader of Sheffield Greens.