Monday, 20 May 2019
Wednesday 14 December 2011

Third Time Lucky for Defeated Cllr Natasa Pantelic

Scraping through by 1 vote amid claims result was fixed

After two rejections by Labour Party members in Baylis ward, Cllr Natasa Pantelic was finally selected this evening by Chalvey's Labour members for next May's council elections.

By just a single vote outsider Natasa Pantelic won the contest against 31 year old Chalvey resident Sabia Hussain. Afterwards a bright, optimistic and determined Mrs Hussain reassured supporters I'll be back.

Allegations of unfair voting practises intended to advantage Miss Pantelic were made to the Slough Times but no person was willing to make an official comment or complaint. Its impossible to know the truth.

Chalvey was the last hope

After party members in Baylis ward and in Farnham ward rejected the white hierarchy's choice of election candidates, the hierarchy were under pressure from MP Fiona MacTaggart to get Miss Pantelic a safe seat. Chalvey was chosen because the majority of Labour members are Moslems thought to be subservient.

The narrowness of the result and the last minute canvassing by opponents of Miss Pantelic worried local Labour bosses. They assumed Chalvey members would readily succumb to their wishes.

Natasa Pantelic

Ms Pantelic, a former Parliamentary aide to MP Fiona MacTaggart and a former Labour election agent for the Slough Parliamentary constituency, was elected in May 2008 for Baylis ward. Miss Pantelic, who lives in Farnham ward, was called Slough's youngest councillor.

On 1 September 2009, Cllr Pantelic became the council's Children's Commissioner.

This year two damning government reports badly criticising Slough Council's children's services shocked the borough.

The astonishing and dreadful failures prompted public questions about Cllr Pantelic's suitability as Slough's children's commissioner. Did she really have the ability to be an effective executive councillor ?

Miss Pantelic was criticised in local political circles for her perceived inability to monitor and control Slough Council's children's services director Clair Pyper.

Locals describe Miss Pantelic as nice and pleasant but seemingly ineffective in her demanding role as Children's Commissioner.

It is widely rumoured - and neither Miss Pantelic nor MP Fiona MacTaggart have denied those rumours when questioned - that Miss MacTaggart wants Miss Pantelic to be her successor as MP for Slough.

October 2011 : Baylis candidate selection

On Tuesday 28 October 2011, in preparation for next May's council elections, the annual series of 14 ward selection meetings started at Labour's new offices at Chalvey Working Men's Club. The first contest was for Baylis ward which has the electoral roll letter A.

It was considered a foregone conclusion that Cllr Pantelic, one of the three existing councillors for Baylis ward who had represented the ward since 2008, would be "rubber stamped" as Labour's May 2012 candidate.

6 aspiring applicants were short-listed but only three arrived. The arrivals were former councillor Shabana Zeib from Wexham ward (Chalvey 2004-2006), Antreev Dhillon from Wexham ward and Cllr Natasa Pantelic from Farnham ward. No candidate living in Baylis ward appeared.

Miss Pantelic's bid to be the Baylis election candidate was dramatically and resoundingly defeated by a younger woman, 20 year old Antreev Dhillon.

Unattributed reports claimed Cllr Pantelic broke-down and cried for two hours outside the meeting. Attempts to get Cllr Pantelic's version of events failed when Cllr Pantelic declined to answer our email and phone messages. Residents in Baylis ward and Slough Party activists claim they too never had their phone calls returned or their emails answered by Cllr Pantelic.

The victorious Baylis winner was Antreev Dhillon, the younger daughter of former Labour councillor Darshan Dhillon (Wexham 1996-2000). Miss Dhillon had unsuccessfully contested Colnbrook ward this year.

November 2011 : Labour's first attempt to overturn selection results

Allegations began to emerge that three of local Labour's top personalities had descended late at night on the doorstep of Miss Dhillon and her family in a frantic attempt to pressurise Antreev to withdraw as the democratically selected Baylis candidate. However they failed.

Afterwards a delighted and overjoyed ex-Cllr Darshan Dhillon described to the Slough Times his younger daughter Antreev's selection as being wonderful adding She is the Daughter of the People.

When questioned about the claims of selection hanky-panky MP Fiona MacTaggart responded:-

Labour Party selections are done on a democratic basis and if there is any flaw, the Labour Party will take action.

Labour's Regional Director takes charge

Local Labour bosses complained to Labour's South-East England regional director Malcolm Powers based twenty miles away in Reading.

Mr Powers, already familiar with the frequent problems among Slough's Labourites, will investigate Slough Labour assisted by propaganda officer Eleanor Holmes, formerly Labour councillors' political assistant at Slough Borough Council. When we asked Mr Powers what was going on in sleazy Slough, he hung-up.

The Slough 'problems' were deemed to be so serious that Labour's National Executive Council (NEC) quickly met to discuss them.

Labour's national HQ decided:-

  • all Slough's election candidate selection results be annulled.
  • new party members of less than 6 months membership must be stopped from voting at selection meetings.
  • the regional office must send observers to monitor every ward's selection contest.

Meanwhile all Labour's new Slough members were summonsed to Labour's Chalvey headquarters for questioning about their motive for joining The Labour Party. Interviews were conducted by local and regional party officials.

December 2011 : Labour's second attempt to overturn results

Labour bosses deliberately overturned the Baylis result and re-started the ward selection process.

Critics say if Cllr Natasha Pantelic had won, the Baylis result would never have been cancelled. Some thought Labour bosses were using the claim of membership irregularities to unfairly overturn the democratic selection process.

Natasha's Second Attempt

On Thursday 8 December at the second Baylis ward selection, Cllr Natasa Pantelic was again defeated. Jubilant Antreev Dhillon won the same contest for the second time.

A person close to Miss Dhillon told the Slough Times:-

The Whites do not have a birth right to the candidacy.

A few days later on Saturday 10 December Labour's council leader Rob Anderson lost the Farnham ward candidacy to former councillor Joginder Bal.

MacTaggart furious

Sources told the Slough Times that Slough MP Fiona MacTaggart (Slough 1997-) was furious at Natasa Pantelic's rejection. We asked Miss MacTaggart if this was true but she ignored that part of our email.

More claims emerged that Miss MacTaggart had:-

demanded safe seats for Natasa Pantelic and for Rob Anderson

The Slough Times was surprised by the inclusion of the Leader of the Council's name.

Worried party bosses decided that Chalvey would be a safe-seat for Cllr Pantelic because ward members are controllable, obedient and well-behaved.