Mystery as two Labour councillors quit on same day

Haringey’s Labour group has not given a reason for the departure of two Tottenham councillors, including a former council leader, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

By-elections at Haringey Council have been triggered by the resignations of Charles Adje (inset left) and Yvonne Say (inset right)
By-elections at Haringey Council have been triggered by the resignations of Charles Adje (inset left) and Yvonne Say (inset right)

Fresh by-elections will take place in Haringey after two Labour councillors quit the council.

Charles Adje, a former leader of the local authority who represented South Tottenham ward, and his Labour colleague Yvonne Say, who represented White Hart Lane, are no longer serving as elected councillors.

The council’s website states that their terms of office both ended on Friday, 18th August, although the reasons for their departure have yet to be made public.

By-elections will be held in both wards later this year to choose their successors – the third and fourth such polls to take place in the borough this year.

Council leader Peray Ahmet said: “I would like to extend my thanks to both Cllr Say and Cllr Adje for their long service to our borough, and I wish them both well for the future. A date for the by-elections will be confirmed shortly.”

Liberal Democrat opposition leader Luke Cawley-Harrison said: “People in Tottenham, who will be voting in their third and fourth by-elections in a matter of months, have been taken for granted by the Labour Party for too long.

“In contrast, local Liberal Democrats will be putting forward strong local champions in South Tottenham and White Hart Lane, and will be fighting for every vote.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has attempted to contact former councillors Say and Adje for comment on why they have resigned but neither has responded.

First elected in 2018, Yvonne Say served on several committees and was formerly chair of the Haringey combined pensions committee and board.

Adje was first elected in 1998 and became council leader in 2004. But he served just two years at the helm before he was replaced by George Meehan after Labour’s majority on the council was slashed at the 2006 local election.

In 2011, Adje received a four-month suspension after being found guilty of misconduct over the previous lease of Alexandra Palace to a private firm. The ban was imposed by Haringey’s standards committee as punishment for Adje concealing a four-page briefing document written by the general manager, when Adje was chair of the Alexandra Palace and Park Board, which advised against handing the licence for the historic building to property developer Firoka. 

The 125-year lease of Ally Pally to Firoka was quashed by the High Court in 2007. An estimated £1.5m was lost in the deal.

Adje returned to the council’s top table in 2018, initially as cabinet member for strategic regeneration, following the election of Joseph Ejiofor as leader of the authority. He subsequently served as cabinet member for finance until Peray Ahmet became leader in 2021.

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