A COUNCILLOR who was fined for taking his child out of school is the new cabinet member responsible for education in Waltham Forest.

Cllr Liaquat Ali was last year prosecuted for taking his daughter on a pilgrimage without permission while serving as mayor.

The appointment by new council leader Chris Robbins is likely to prove controversial as the department of children and young people plays a lead role in punishing parents who break the rules.

Cllr Matt Davis, Conservative group leader, said: "Only in Waltham Forest could the only councillor convicted of keeping his own child out of school illegally be put in charge of children's services.

"This may well appear like there is one rule for politicians and another for everybody else."

Cllr Davis said Cllr Ali may have a problem with credibility because of the prosection.

Cllr Adam Gladstone, speaking on behalf of the Labour group, said: "It is on public record that Cllr Ali was fined but he paid up and we don't see how this would affect his capability to do a good job in the very wide field of children and young people."

Cllr Ali was fined £200 while he was Mayor after failing to pay an initial fine for taking his child out of school.

But the council asked for the fine to be rescinded at Redbridge Magistrates Court after a £100 cheque was discovered in a town hall safe.

Deputy council leader Cllr John Macklin has had finance added to his portfolio, while Cllr Keith Rayner will now be responsible for "performance, risk and governance."

The rest of the cabinet positions remain unchanged, Cllr Terry Wheeler remains cabinet member for enterprise despite speculation he would be axed.