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He can be PM! Council leader Georgia Gould says she has changed her mind about Jeremy Corbyn

I definitely wouldn’t define myself as a Blairite, insists Town Hall boss

16 October, 2017 — By Richard Osley

COUNCIL leader Georgia Gould says she does not see herself as a “Blairite” and has changed her mind about Jeremy Corbyn, now believing he can walk through the doors of Downing Street as prime minister.

In a pilot podcast recorded for the New Journal, she says she has stopped reading anything comparing her with her famous father, the late Lord Gould, one of Tony Blair’s most trusted advisers. The ask-the-leader session, which included questions from readers, sees her defend the decision to evacuate the Chalcots tower blocks in June amid post-Grenfell fire safety fears. She also faces questions about the future of Queen’s Crescent Market and insists that reductions to residents’ bin collections have worked out after initial teething problems.

She answers the question as to whether, at 31, people think she is too young for the most powerful role at the Town Hall, and picks her all-time Queens Park Rangers starting eleven. Cllr Gould has promised a more open administration at the Town Hall since taking over as leader in May. She is increasing the number of meetings with the public and has begun hot-desking around council offices in King’s Cross to be closer to staff.

She has, however, faced regular social media jibes and diary column swipes about her so-called “red princess” background and direct links to the New Labour government. “I’m so used to it that I don’t read most of it,” she says in the interview, recorded at the town hall on Monday. “But what I love about Camden is that it so rarely happens in Camden. People are much more likely to be angry with me in Camden about a repair that hasn’t been done or a decision I’ve made than anything to do with my family. People here know that I have my own politics and I have my own agenda, and that’s what’s great about the borough.”

Cllr Gould adds: “I definitely wouldn’t define myself as a Blairite. That government did a huge amount of good. I think my dad and his work did a lot of good but there’s also a lot that I disagree with. “Fundamentally, the policies of 1997 are not the policies of today. The biggest challenge we face today is inequality and it’s getting so great that it’s affecting social cohesion. We have a duty as a Labour Party to challenge that and to take that on. The world has moved on, and if my dad was anything he was a progressive. He was someone who believed that you have strong values but you change the way you get there to meet the times. So I think he would expect me to have different politics from him. We used to fight a lot.”

She says that she has a revised opinion of Jeremy Corbyn, having voted against him in the Labour leadership contests. “I’ve changed my mind,” she adds. “I think the appeal he has, the agenda he has put forward can win an election and I hope it does.”

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