Former councillor ordered to pay almost £140,000 over failed judicial review

Published 9th May 2018

A former councillor has been ordered to pay costs of almost £140,000 after an unsuccessful legal battle against Sandwell Council ended up at the High Court.

Mahboob Hussain, who was the council’s deputy leader and a ward member for Oldbury, took the council to a judicial review over the publication of the Wragge/Gowling WLG report.
 
The report was an independent investigation into allegations that he had abused his position as a councillor.
 
After losing the judicial review in June 2017, Mr Hussain paid a proportion of the council’s costs. Last week, the authority went back to court to reclaim the balance of its legal fees.
 
The matter was heard by Master Nagalingam at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on 30 April and 1 May.
 
The court ordered Mr Hussain to pay a total of £139,292.47 in costs, interest and court fees. This includes the £50,000 he has already paid towards the council’s legal bill.
 
Mr Hussain, who did not stand in last week’s local elections, is expected to be ordered to pay the outstanding amount over the next two weeks.
 
In January, the council’s standards sub-committee found that Mr Hussain pushed through the sale of three public toilets well below their market value to a family friend in 2011/12 and instructed officers to reduce or cancel three parking tickets for his wife and sons.

The sub-committee ruled that he had breached the Members’ Code of Conduct 12 times.