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Dame Tessa Jowell launches Camden Labour manifesto - but pledges support for HS2

Camden Labour launch their 2014 election manifesto. Pictured front centre, Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward with Labour MP Dame Tessa Jowell. Picture: Polly Hancock. Camden Labour launch their 2014 election manifesto. Pictured front centre, Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward with Labour MP Dame Tessa Jowell. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Thursday, May 1, 2014
1:13 PM

Labour MP Dame Tessa Jowell launched the party’s council election manifesto in Camden last night but insisted she supported HS2, despite her local colleagues’ opposition.

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A 30-strong group of Camden Labour candidates competing in the May 22 election gathered at Castlehaven Community Centre, in Camden Town, for Dame Tessa’s visit to mark the 2014 manifesto launch.

The Dulwich and West Norwood MP described the manifesto as “absolutely terrific” but did not back its pledge to oppose HS2.

She told the Ham&High: “I voted for HS2, I will support HS2 but I’ve had conversations with Sarah [Hayward, council leader] and said that I’m very happy to join the other voices to secure proper consultation and compensation.

“The great risk for the part of Camden around Euston is that it will have to endure years and years and years of blight.”

Addressing Camden Labour members, Dame Tessa, who is standing down from parliament at next year’s general election, warned of the threat posed by the UK Independence Party (Ukip), describing it as an “ugly force” which was “sweeping up a lot of decent people”.

She added: “I have read the Labour manifesto and the policies you are taking to the people of Camden are absolutely terrific and I think you can be so proud of those.

“It will just be, across London, a very hard fight but I feel very optimistic that on May 23 we will see, coming up on the leaderboard on the BBC, gains in Camden.

“Every single step you walk, door you knock on and promise you secure is worth it.”

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