Syon Councillor Resigns from 'Sloppy, Lazy' Labour Party

Theo Dennison upset by council tax rises and selection process

An angry Theo Dennison addresses the council meeting


Musician To Stand for Greens in Isleworth

Greens Pick Candidate for Brentford East

Greens Make Early Start in Contest for Brentford West

Sign up for our Brentford newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Tensions over the selection of candidates for the forthcoming local elections came to a head in a dramatic council meeting this week (1 March).

The drama started early with the announcement from Council leader Steve Curran, that he would not be seeking re-election due to ill health but continued as councillors responded to the news.

Whilst most, including those from the Conservative opposition, paid tribute to Cllr Curran, when it was Syon Ward councillor Theo Dennison’s turn to speak, he launched a coruscating attack on the leader and announced he would no longer be a councillor and was resigning from the Labour Party.

He said, ‘ I think in recent months, we have seen the dark side of Steve Curran, and it is most unfortunate to see the damage he has done to our party in the last few months.

“It is therefore with no regret that I welcome his resignation, and I hope that our party will be able to rebuild itself cleaner, more decent and more democratic, because that is what this borough needs

“I had though, already this evening sent a note to Thomas Ribbits explaining that I am resigning, as of this evening, from the Labour group and I will be leaving the Labour Party.

“I am not a fan of fratricide, and I have served with Steve in Syon for many years. His strength in this borough… has been diminished by his actions whilst in absolute control of the selection process in this borough. It is therefore a welcome break for those who have lost out in this selection process that there will be two vacancies in Syon, and I welcome those who have been excluded to put themselves forward for consideration in that ward.”

He went on to criticise the lack of consultation with Labour members over the proposed budget and added, “We can't go round having year on year Council Tax rises along with year on year increases in Councillors' Allowances. We have an opportunity at the next election (5 May) to look to the future, to look to an improvement of our Borough and that cannot mean going back to a sloppy, lazy Labour Party that does not trust its values, our residents and our members. We must go back to being a democratic party or we will be lost."

He spoke out against the current cabinet system used to govern Hounslow which he said effectively gave the leader £1 million worth of patronage to establish their authority over their term.

It is understood that Cllr Dennison intended to propose a motion of no confidence in Steve Curran to the Labour Group but that this was ruled out of order. He had also asked that it be held as a secret ballot to avoid ‘bullying and intimidation’. The failure of his motion to be considered is believed to have prompted his resignation.

The motion read as follows:

This Group expresses its profound concern at the staggering abuses that have taken place at every stage of the candidate selection process and the actions of the unaccountable cabal who have been responsible for them.
We note:
• Whip and branch reports being written by people who are candidates with a direct and personal interest in the outcome
• Trumped up charges and false allegations about sitting councillors and prospective candidates
• Rigged interviews by what should have been independent panels
• Spiking people who pose a threat to preferred candidates
• The failure to stop people paying membership fees in return for the votes of members in key wards

These abuses have denied party members a genuine choice of many able candidates and skewed the selection results in a significant number of wards.

We express our serious concern at the breach of the trust and neglect of our public responsibilities symbolised by the mockery of holding the Labour Group’s consideration of the council budget just 60 minutes before the council meeting at which it must be determined - yet whipping all Labour councillors to vote for it.

In stark contradiction to the our values and principles, the budget contains yet another move to reduce the help we give to some of the poorest residents of our borough via changes in the council tax reduction scheme which will mean a massive hike in their council tax bills and is presented alongside proposals for annual increases in councillor allowances.

This is no way to lead a party or a council and we hereby resolve that that we have no confidence in Steve Curran and call on him to resign.


The councillor believed to have seconded the motion, Devina Ram, also resigned from the Labour group this week. The Labour Group issued the following statement, "Cllr Ram is currently under investigation by the Standards Committee, for what would be a serious breach of the standards expected of local government representatives. This investigation has been referred to external agencies for further investigation."

Cllr Ram says she has asked the police if there is any investigation against her and they have confirmed that there is not.

Cllr Guy Lambert said, "I was disgusted with the contribution of Theo Dennison in the meeting. Someone with whom I have worked closely and had very cordial relations over several years but whose relationship with Steve has soured for reasons about which I can only speculate. Certainly, much of what he said in Borough Council seems to me to be palpably untrue. Whatever, it was unworthy and has left a very bad taste in my mouth."

Conservative Group Leader Gerald McGregor said, “As a member of the Labour Party for 40 years, Councillor Theo Dennison’s decision to resign from the Labour Party and oppose its budget should give residents an insight into the level of mismanagement of this borough’s finances by the Labour administration. Councillor Dennison’s principled stand against Hounslow Labour’s decision to increase council tax by the maximum possible amount and attempt to remove the Council Tax Support Scheme for the poorest in our borough is in stark contrast to those Labour councillors who mindlessly followed their party whip.”

Cllr Dennison’s former ward of Syon is now largely the new Syon and Brentford Lock ward. With both Cllr Dennison and Cllr Curran no longer standing for election only Cllr Katherine Dunne was reselected with the other two candidates being Dan Bowring and Balraj Sarai, who currently represents Heston West.

Labour had mandated that the new two-councillor Brentford wards had to include one female candidate.

Marina Sharma, a former pupil of Brentford School for Girls, was selected alongside Rhys Williams who obtained more votes than long-serving councillor Mel Collins.

In Brentford West cabinet member Guy Lambert was re-selected alongside with Chiswick based Cambridge graduate Lara Parizotto who is originally from Brazil.

In Osterley and Spring Grove Tony Louki and Unsa Chaudri are to stand again while Aftab Siddiqui replaces Richard Eason who was not included on Labour’s list of approved candidates. Cllr Eason had been critical of the administrations policies particularly in the area of transport. All three of Labour’s candidates in the ward are reported to be opposed to the Tesco/Homebase development.

In Isleworth, Salman Shaheen and Sue Sampson are retained to be joined by John Stroud-Turp, secretary of Hounslow Labour. Daanish Saeed who is currently a councillor in the ward will be standing in Hounslow East.

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.

March 4, 2022

Bookmark and Share