Nottingham City Council's next leader is former Robin Hood Energy director Neghat Khan

Neghat Khan and David Mellen pictured during the announcement of the 2023 local election results
Neghat Khan and David Mellen pictured during the announcement of the 2023 local election results -Credit:Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post

Neghat Khan has been installed as Nottingham City Council's next leader without her fellow councillors having a say on the matter, Nottinghamshire Live understands. Sources say that Councillor Khan, a former director of Robin Hood Energy, was confirmed as David Mellen's successor on Tuesday (May 7).

Nottingham's Labour group of councillors would usually have total freedom to select their leader, deputy leader and the various portfolio holders. This year, Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) instead said it would be interviewing candidates beforehand and then presenting Nottingham councillors with a shortlist of suitable candidates to choose from.

Yet this process has now been dubbed a "charade" by one source as the NEC appears to have chosen the next leader, deputy leader and other senior roles without councillors having a say. Councillors were due to get a vote at Nottingham Labour's annual general meeting, taking place at 6pm on Tuesday.

Should Nottingham City Council have managed its finances better over the last 10 years? Let us know here

Many of those councillors are now said to be angry at how heavily Labour's national governing body has become involved in the process. As well as the appointment of Neghat Khan, Nottinghamshire Live understands that Ethan Radford has been chosen as deputy leader and Matt Shannon has been chosen as chief whip.

Councillor Khan, who represents the Dales ward on Nottingham City Council alongside David Mellen, was appointed to Robin Hood Energy as a director in May 2016. Councillor Khan also spent two years as a director at Blueprint and a year as a Nottingham City Homes director.

The new city council leader, unlike previous years, will pick all of the portfolio holders. An email confirming the news was sent to Nottingham's Labour councillors just after 12pm on Tuesday, with a party official beginning the email by saying: "Please see below the list of positions for group officers as determined by the NEC."

The official sending the email said he would be present at the annual Labour group meeting, where councillors would be able to ask questions about the process. Nottingham City Council's next leader is officially due to take over from David Mellen at the next full meeting of the authority on May 20. The Labour Party was approached for comment and we also attempted to contact Neghat Khan for comment.