Enfield has been branded a ‘council in chaos’ after cabinet members got involved in an ongoing row over candidate selections.

Conservative group leader Cllr Joanne Laban claimed the borough was effectively leaderless due to the internal dispute between senior members of the Labour administration.

Her comments came after it emerged half of the council’s current leadership team, including the deputy leader, had signed a letter backing an investigation into the candidate selection process for the recent local elections on May 3.

The letter, which appeared on internet news website Skwawkbox, cites “widespread anger amongst the membership and the public about the selection process, and in the Labour Group”.

Cllr Laban said “Whilst the Labour administration is at war with itself there is no-one doing the day job of running our borough.

“Currently our borough is leaderless, and the proof can be found in the recent decision over wasting public funds on a political assistant, the cancellation of the annual town show, the punishing of local retailers with a rise in parking charges, and long-standing, dedicated staff off sick because of the Labour administration.

“The leader and cabinet need to resign and fresh elections should be held within the Labour Group so we can have an administration fit for office.”

Labour members sounded the alarm over “rule breaches” and “irregularities” in the candidate selection process – including certain candidates failing to meet selection criteria and not being asked mandatory questions – shortly after the elections.

They called on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to investigate the process, including the role played by Local Campaign Forum secretary Cllr Nesil Caliskan, who is now council leader.

But the national Labour Party said the selections took place “in line with Labour’s rules and procedures”.

The latest letter calling for an official investigation is signed by deputy leader Daniel Anderson and fellow cabinet members Achilleas Georgiou, Dino Lemonides, Yasemin Brett, Dinah Barry and Ahmet Oykener.

Other signatories include former councillors and current senior Labour members.

The letter, addressed to NEC members Andy Kerr, Jim Kennedy and Jennie Formby, states: “This growing scandal has already generated negative media coverage for the local party, and our fear is that it is already beginning to damage community relations and our electoral prospects.

“Three of the signatories, all women, will be writing to you separately regarding incidents of intimidation.

“We would therefore urge the NEC to intervene as a matter of urgency to restore confidence in the local party and the council.”

Enfield Council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan said: “This is typical of the Tories to try to divert attention from the damage their government is inflicting on the people of Enfield by slashing funding to this council.

“While they cut, we are getting on with the job of running this council and continuing to deliver services that the people of Enfield deserve and need.

“We have talented councillors in the Labour group and cabinet who are dedicated to doing their best for Enfield residents, and that is why the people of Enfield put their trust in us and not the Tories at the council elections.

“Labour Party internal matters are no business of the Tories. Their time would be better spent trying to get their government to reverse the disastrous austerity policies.”