A BACKBENCH Labour councillor in Newport has launched a stinging attack on one of his own party’s cabinet members.

Stow Hill councillor and former mayor Miqdad Al-Nuaimi has made a series of allegations against education cabinet member Bob Poole, calling him arrogant and prone to make rash judgements unbecoming of his position.

The attack, addressed to Cllr Poole but sent by email to all Newport councillors, is possibly the most significant public row among the Labour group since it took over the authority in May 2012.

Cllr Al-Nuaimi sent the email last Friday after the cabinet member declined to answer questions over the controversial decision to merge the Gaer infant and junior schools.

He told Cllr Poole: “Your arrogant and woefully inadequate response to my question has clearly demonstrated your unwillingness to be accountable.

“Your failure to substantiate statements you made shows that you are prone to make rash and unfair judgements, unbecoming of the responsible position you hold.

“You also lack the sensitivity and graciousness to admit to mistakes.”

Cllr Al-Nuaimi’s statement came in response to a series of written answers from Cllr Poole to questions over the decision for children at the Brynglas autistic spectrum disorder centre not to have lunch with Welsh medium school pupils in the same building.

Cllr Poole told Tory councillors David Fouweather and David Atwell that a new ASD school was proposed at Gaer Infant school site, but said there was a considerable delay in amalgamating the Gaer schools as a “result of significant objections, many of which were by your colleagues”.

It was his impression, he added, that many of the objections were from “colleagues to those in opposition to the proposal”.

He said he wouldn’t comment on Cllr Al-Nuaimi’s criticisms while the Stow Hill councillor also made no further comment when approached by the Argus.