Havering’s leader faces an election battle against the wife of the councillor who embroiled him in a scandal relating to boundary changes.

May's local elections will see Carol Perry standing for the Havering Residents' Association (HRA) and Cllr Damian White standing for the Conservatives in the Havering-atte-Bower ward.

Carol is the wife of Emerson Park councillor Bob Perry, who in 2020 secretly recorded a private meeting in which Cllr White claimed the council’s chief executive had agreed to let him “influence” the proposals for new electoral boundaries - something which could help the Conservatives in future elections.

Cllr White denied any wrongdoing and Havering Council's press office strongly refuted the claims made on the recording.

Conservative councillors voted not to investigate their leader and Cllr Perry, who had previously been a Tory, became an independent.

Mrs Perry said she had been “immensely proud” of her husband and said the scandal was what had led her to join the HRA.

“Like my husband, I cannot idly stand by and ignore the contempt being shown towards residents by this uncaring administration led by Cllr White,” she said.

She alleges there has been a “decline in services across the borough” and said Havering-atte-Bower had “suffered badly” under the current administration.

“It’s time for change and I will campaign for those services to be restored,” she added.

Cllr White currently represents the Squirrels Heath ward, but is planning to run in Havering-atte-Bower, which was created as a result of the controversial boundary review.

The council leader said he was proud of the council’s record over the past four years and highlighted his administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Under my leadership, Havering Council has been judged as the most efficient borough in London, which highlights our ability in delivering excellent value-for-money services for our residents,” he said.

He accused the Residents’ Associations of “seeking to engage in personal attacks instead of offering policy alternatives” and said he was “focused on delivering for the people that live across the borough and depend on council services.”