Welcome back Michael

Good that popular Harrow council chief executive Michael Lockwood, forced out by the short-lived Cllr Hall administration, is back today, but of course bad for the opposition leader Ms Hall who now has to work with the same Mr Lockwood.
Not only this embarrassment but also another defeat for the opposition leader who has been repeatedly leading her Conservative group to defeats (Councils in 2010 & 2014 – five sitting Tory councillors were defeated – and 2 by-elections in 2013).
Councillor Hall’s elected-mayor style Tory administration, grabbed through a highly controversial process, was marked by the resignation of the chief executive, followed by some key directors leaving – seemingly Hall-style administration was not possible with a strong chief executive in place.
Background
    • Like in 2014, voters voted in Labour administration to run the council in 2010
    • In mid-2013, a breakaway Independent Labour Group, snatched the council administration from Labour with the support of and encouragement from the Tory group leadership – the ILG seemingly had personal grudge against some in the Labour group which became highly toxic with the time
    • Few months later, the Tory group grabbed the council administration with the support of the well groomed Independent Labour Group who voted in the Tory group leader as the leader of the council through a highly controversial process which created the political mess i.e. a hung council where both the Labour and Tory groups had 25 councillors each, putting Tory minority administration in place by the 8 ILG councillors
    • Harrow finished up with an elected-mayor style short-lived Tory administration and three different council cabinets and administrations within a short period, and a perceived tense ‘culture of fear’ at the civic centre, marked by the resignation of the chief executive, followed by some key directors leaving