Camden Council leader Georgia Gould refuses to back Haringey leadership
Claire Kober resigns amid housing deal row
01 February, 2018 — By Richard Osley
LABOUR council leader Georgia Gould resisted pressure to sign a letter backing her counterpart in Haringey, who has resigned amid a political crisis in the neighbouring borough.
She refused to join more than 70 Labour council leaders who answered an SOS call from supporters of the leadership in Haringey with a letter in the Sunday Times praising the work of Claire Kober. The letter criticised the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee for asking for work on the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), a bulk land deal with developer Lendlease, to be paused until after the council elections in May.
The row reached boiling point on Tuesday when Cllr Kober stepped down as leader in Haringey following nine years in charge. Cllr Kober told the Evening Standard: “The sexism, bullying, undemocratic behaviour and outright personal attacks on me as the most senior woman in Labour local government have left me disappointed and disillusioned.”
Cllr Gould said it was not for her to use her position as leader to comment on policies in Haringey, adding. “I am fully focused on working with all Labour councillors and members on delivering for residents in Camden and don’t want to comment on or criticise the path other Labour councils have taken.”
Former council leader Sarah Hayward took a contrasting approach to Cllr Gould. Within hours of Cllr Kober’s resignation, she had written a piece for the New Statesman warning that the unprecedented intervention by the NEC – now dominated by Mr Corbyn’s supporters – was bad for the party.