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Labour Party purge of Haringey councillors supporting £2bn HDV redevelopment plan

PUBLISHED: 15:16 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:24 30 November 2017

Haringey Labour Party members have voted for change after councillors who supported controversial plans to redevelop the borough failed to get selected or pulled out of the race ahead of next year's local elections. Credit: KATIE COLLINS

Haringey Labour Party members have voted for change after councillors who supported controversial plans to redevelop the borough failed to get selected or pulled out of the race ahead of next year's local elections. Credit: KATIE COLLINS

PA/PA Photos

A purge of Labour councillors who supported £2billion plans to ‘sell off’ homes in the borough has hit Haringey Council.

Cllr Claire Kober Leader of Haringey Council said it has been an honour to be in charge of the authority. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK Cllr Claire Kober Leader of Haringey Council said it has been an honour to be in charge of the authority. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK

In recent weeks Labour Party members in wards across the borough have been voting for the candidates they want to represent them in local elections next May.

But a raft of councillors who backed Haringey’s plans to give away a share of council owned homes, land and business premises to private developer Lendlease – described by critics as a £2bn sell off and the subject of a judge-led review – have either been deselected or pulled out after losing in the first round of voting.

According to one source the latest results show a swing from 24 to 18 councillors in favour of the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) before to 35 to 7 new candidates opposed.

A senior councillor told the Ham&High: “That is a decisive swing which must put the HDV’s progress in doubt.”

Tim Gallagher pulled out of the race to become Labour candidate in Stroud Green at local elections in May next year blaming a 'poisonous' process. Tim Gallagher pulled out of the race to become Labour candidate in Stroud Green at local elections in May next year blaming a 'poisonous' process.

The Labour Party insider went on to predict council leader Claire Kober would be certain to be replaced in May.

In response Cllr Kober said: “It’s been an honour to serve as a Seven Sisters ward councillor and as leader of Haringey Council, and I am delighted I have been selected to stand again in next year’s local elections.”

Five out 10 council chiefs have either been beaten by rival candidates, withdrawn or jumped ship after failing to get 50 per cent of votes in initial ballots, meaning they weren’t automatically selected.

Cllr Alan Strickland (housing), Cllr Eugene Ayisi (communities), Cllr Ali Demirci (business), Cllr Bernice Vanier (social care) and Cllr Joe Goldberg (economic development) will step down in May leaving just three of Cllr Kober’s key team in place: Cllrs Peray Ahmet, Joseph Ejiofor and Elin Weston, councillor for Hornsey.

Finance chief and Crouch End’s Cllr Jason Arthur faced his own selection battle last night as five remaining wards shortlisted candidates.

In a letter published on social media Stroud Green’s Cllr Tim Gallagher blamed his downfall on ‘deep unease’ about the state of the Haringey Labour Party and not being chosen outright in his own vote Wednesday last week.

Cllr Gallagher blamed a ‘poisonous’ selection process writing: “Haringey Labour is inflamed with division, distrust, and what at times feels like hatred amongst members.”

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1 comment

  • A purge is when people are chucked out without due process. What's happening here is democracy. Doesn't the Ham & High know the difference? These councillors have been deselected in a democratic process by the members of their party, because they have been acting in ways that will destroy the community they have been elected to represent and whose interests they have been elected to protect. In this case the mob has been *inside* the council, not outside. Using the word "purge" to describe the residents of Haringey who are democratically campaigning to protect their homes and communities from dirty deals behind closed doors is a disgraceful distortion of the truth.

    Report this comment

    Julia Bard

    Friday, December 1, 2017

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