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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and ruling NEC body asks Haringey Council to stop HDV plans

PUBLISHED: 18:07 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:13 24 January 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn voted in favour of urging the council to halt its plans

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn voted in favour of urging the council to halt its plans

PA Wire/PA Images

The Labour Party’s national executive committee (NEC), including leader Jeremy Corbyn, have voted to ask Haringey Council to stop the controversial Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV).

Councillor Claire Kober Leader of Haringey Council Councillor Claire Kober Leader of Haringey Council

The unprecedented move follows campaigning within the area, and resignations from council leader Claire Kober’s front bench in recent months.

Some serving Labour councillors who have supported the HDV have been deselected by their local party ahead of May’s council elections. Of 28 councillors that support the HDV, only six will stand again.

The HDV plans to give away a share of council owned homes, land and business premises to private developer Lendlease. It has been described by critics as a £2bn sell off and the subject of a judge-led review.

The Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary Andrew Gwynne will mediate between the two sides in the dispute to reach a solution.

Haringey Civic Centre in Wood Green, London. Credit: Katie Collins Haringey Civic Centre in Wood Green, London. Credit: Katie Collins

The motion urging the party’s ruling body to intervene was passed unanimously by the group. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who sits on the NEC, was at the meeting on Tuesday January 23.

A letter sent by 22 Haringey Labour councillors opposing the HDV plans was read out in the meeting.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West also opposes the plans.

A senior source within Haringey Labour said the support for the policy within the council’s Labour group is diminishing. “Over the past seven months, it has become clear that the party, and the local community are substantially opposed to progress with the policy.”

However Haringey Council Leader Cllr Claire Kober defended the plans, saying they were “well-thought through”.

She said: “Our plans offer the only viable option for building new homes, replacing unacceptably inadequate estates, creating new jobs, and safeguarding the future of the Council within a sensible timeframe.

“We need to deliver homes, jobs and community facilities at scale. A partnership like the HDV could help us deliver on our ambition,” she said.

A source within Labour Party Headquarters confirmed the move. “HDV is deeply unpopular in Haringey. Following a request from local councillors for the NEC to intervene, the NEC has agreed to advise Haringey Council to pause the plans if mediation processes do not bring about a resolution.”

3 comments

  • I too am a bit surprised that the Lib Dems don’t get a mention here. I live in Muswell Hill and the local Lib Dem newsletter tipped us off ages ago about Labour’s HDV scheme and explained why it was likely a bad thing for the borough, in particular for social housing tenants. The Green Party also started talking about it. Labour remained silent. I welcome the new, but frankly far far too late intervention by some in the Labour Party. I think it’s clear that Labour’s NEC only discussed this after they realised the Lib Dem councillors were about to embarrass Labour by forcing a full vote on the issue. But Labour has left the borough in a real pickle - do they plough ahead with this very risky scheme or do they cancel the contract and no doubt pay tens of millions in compensation to Lendlease? Either way, it is us residents of Haringey who will lose out. I applaud the Lib Dems for opposing the scheme from the outset - proper local representation. The Ham & High frankly ought to recognise that.

    Report this comment

    Matt Evans

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

  • The only reason for this 'unusual move' by the NEC is because the Lib Dem opposition councillors called for a meeting in which all councillors can have a vote on the scheme. So far Labour have restricted all votes to the ten cabinet members. The Labour councillors want support and protection if they vote against the Haringey leadership.

    Report this comment

    Dawn Barnes

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

  • It seems strange to omit the key fact that the reason this intervention has taken place is as a result of the Liberal Democrats in Haringey tabling a motion to stop the HDV. Their opposition from the beginning has been key. This will be the first opportunity that all councillors have had the chance to vote on the scheme as well and it will be interesting to see if the 22 Labour rebels put their borough before their party.

    Report this comment

    Joshua Dixon

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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