There will be a new leader of Kirklees Council after Labour councillors voted for change.

History has repeated itself after Clr Shabir Pandor got the nod for the top job for the second time.

There will be a reversal of roles with current leader Clr David Sheard stepping down to be deputy leader.

Kirklees Council Deputy Leader Clr. Shabir Pandor.

Clr Pandor famously became the first party leader to fail to get in as council leader two years ago amid strong opposition from rival parties.

This time though he should have no problem as Labour has a majority in the council chamber, allowing him to be voted in as Kirklees Council leader without any need for support from independent, Green or Liberal Democrat members.

Clr Pandor’s second chance has come following a vote of councillor members at the Kirklees Labour group meeting at Dewsbury Town Hall this evening .

He beat off a challenge from respected cabinet member, Clr Viv Kendrick, who ran with the blessing of current council leader, Clr Sheard, who with retirement looming, has decided to step aside.

A Labour party source told the Examiner Clr Kendrick would have been a good leader but they said Clr Pandor was always the favourite.

Clr Viv Kendrick


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Clr Sheard, who has represented Heckmondwike for decades, told the Examiner he would not be standing for re-election in 2019 and so he wanted to give someone else a year’s transition as leader, with him as their deputy.

Kirklees Council leader Clr David Sheard

The leadership battle comes two years on from the surprise coup that saw Clr Sheard dramatically toppled by Clr Pandor.

A vicious war of words followed in the weeks after with accusations of lying and back-stabbing made in the press by Clr Sheard.

Clr Pandor had managed to topple Clr Sheard out of the blue after Labour failed to get a majority at the 2016 local elections.

Sources at the time said the coup had been arranged with the support of Clr Jean Calvert who was then the deputy leader.

At the time Clr Sheard claimed the coup had been racially motivated.

He took to Twitter to vent his anger, with one post about Clr Pandor saying: “He wants a Cabinet based on ethnicity, I wanted a cabinet based on ability.”

But Clr Pandor’s bid to be leader fell apart a few weeks later when, in what was thought to be a first, he failed to get elected as leader of the council.

He endured an embarrassing barrage of criticism in the council chamber as Conservative, Lib Dem and Green councillors lashed out at his competence and refused to acquiesce to his succession, as would normally happen.

The drama left the council with no political leader for about two months with then chief executive Adrian Lythgo having to take charge.

But Clr Sheard would have the last laugh and he was eventually re-instated as leader with Clr Pandor as his deputy as a compromise.

Clr Sheard had already used his last days as leader to sack Clr Calvert as his deputy to prevent her from becoming leader should Clr Pandor’s bid fail.

This time Clr Pandor will have no such problems as Labour has a majority in the Huddersfield Town Hall council chamber after gaining three seats at the local elections last week.

Barring any Labour rebellion he will be elected as leader of the council as the annual council meeting on May 23.