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Bonkers Blog June 2016

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21 June (Part 4) - Jumping ship and the burning question

UKIPWhen I saw Nigel Farage in Bexleyheath a week ago with a man in a turban by his side I fleetingly thought something like “clever move to place an ethnic face by his side” and then I forgot it. Mr. Farage is a politician, you have to expect such things and as political trickery goes it doesn’t amount to much.

It took nearly a week for the penny to drop. The man in the turban is Harbans Buttar who was prominent in UKIP during the local elections in 2014. He appears on their website because he is now a committee member after contesting Barnehurst ward that year and falling nearly 400 votes short of success.

From 2002 to 2010 Harbans was a Labour Councillor in Bexley and Deputy Mayor a little before BiB came on the scene. He was mentioned briefly in a very old blog for being the only Labour Councillor to have had a complaint made against him but like nearly all complaints against Bexley Councillors it was not upheld.

Not that that was the whole story. He fell out with his party colleagues who accused him of having business interests incompatible with Labour principles. His activities were labelled “dodgy” and the party leadership planned to impose sanctions. It never happened because Mr. Buttar resigned the Labour whip. A recent enquiry to those who might remember details produced an allegation that Harbans Buttar was renting out houses which attracted the attention of the Council’s Environmental Health team.

BarnbrookWhat I find odd is that Michael Barnbrook was refused membership of UKIP on the grounds that he was once a BNP member. Michael has a proven track record of tackling political corruption, putting several MPs behind bars in the process, but UKIP wants nothing to do with him. However it welcomes members that Labour rejected and refused to take back in in 2012. Maybe political parties are wary of taking on board a member who raised concerns about his own leader’s financial affairs.

I Googled Mr. Buttar’s name - as you do - but it is one of those that aren’t indexed under the EU’s undemocratic right to be forgotten regulations. Ironic if it was a UKIP man who used that law.

The Companies House website proved more useful. Mr. Buttar is a director of Erith based BGS (London) Limited. His name appears on the latest Statement of Capital and he is listed as a Surveyor.

Gilbert Road Gilbert Road EnforcementNearly six years ago when the Blackwall Tunnel was shut every night for refurbishment I drove home from North London via Dartford and found my road blocked in Belvedere. There was a fire at 16 Gilbert Road. Despite all the intervening years the building is still a wreck, supported by scaffolding.

Bexley Council pinned an enforcement notice to the premises, it‘s almost unreadable now but is dated 2nd December 2011 and refers to an owner resident in Canada. A Mr. Amrik Soor.

Some local residents believe it was being added to Mr. Buttar’s property portfolio at about the time of the fire. Surely if it was he might have done something about the eyesore by now. It’s been a mess for quite long enough. Is Bexley Council powerless to do anything about it?


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