A COUNCILLOR who was axed from the cabinet three days before Christmas has been left baffled at council leader Rob Anderson's decision to remove him.

Cllr Anderson used a special privilege introduced into the Slough constitution in May, called the Strong Leader Model, to remove Cllr Fiza Matloob from the Opportunity and Skills Portfolio.

He swiftly appointed Cllr Pavitar Mann under the policy which grants him power to shuffle the cabinet as he pleases.

It's the first time the policy has been utilised by the council leader - who would have formerly had to gain the permission of the cabinet.

The axed Cllr Matloob said: "As far as I'm concerned I was a really good cabinet commissioner. There has been no complaints and I've not been criticised.

"I've not been given a clear cut explanation to why he has taken the decision. Now I will have to wait to hear his explanation." The Labour Group were set to meet last night (Thursday) where Cllr Anderson is due to explain his decision.

It is believed the council leader had lost his confidence in Cllr Matloob's ability to handle the portfolio and had concerns over his performance.

Cllr Anderson said: "I have decided to make a change to the cabinet and have asked Cllr Pavitar Mann to step-up and take over the Opportunity and Skills portfolio previously held by Cllr Matloob. Can I thank Cllr Matloob for his efforts in that role and wish Cllr Mann all the very best in her new role." Cllr Mann added: "I am delighted ... I believe it is a positive step to increase female representation within the council's leadership." The landmark move comes only two weeks after the shock selection blow to Cllr Anderson, who is now facing a fight to keep his high-profile role.

It is believed he will stand for selection in the Britwell ward.