Claire Kober is quitting as Haringey Council quit after campaign by MomentumSaid activists screamed and shouted at her and threatened to purge councillors Warned "toxic" political culture sweeping through UK where debate not tolerateComes amid reports Labour has left string of far...
- Claire Kober is quitting as Haringey Council quit after campaign by Momentum
- Said activists screamed and shouted at her and threatened to purge councillors
- Warned ‘toxic’ political culture sweeping through UK where debate not tolerate
- Comes amid reports Labour has left string of far left activists back into the party
An outgoing Labour council leader today revealed Corbynistas taunted her by singing a song about stalking at her during a campaign to oust her.
Claire Kober is quitting after leading Haringey Council blaming a campaign of ‘bullying and intimidation’ by Momentum activists.
The Labour moderate said firebrand activists shouted and screamed at her in meetings and vowed to purge her.
And she told of a Labour Party meeting when hard-left activists sang ‘I’ll be watching you’ – words from ‘Every Breath You take – a song about stalking by The Police.
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Claire Kober (pictured today on the BBC) is quitting after leading Haringey Council blaming a campaign of ‘bullying and intimidation’ by Momentum activists.
She said the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn (pictured yesterday giving a speech in Nottingham) had let her down by allowing its NEC to interfere with her local decision making and allowing abuse to sweep through its ranks
She told The BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘I’ve been a leader for ten years a s a borough leader, and as any other politician in a frontline role, you become pretty resilient.
‘I have to say in the last two years I have attracted more threats more bullying more intimidation than in the previous eight years put together.
‘It is absolutely sexist – that runs from the way I was treated by my National Executive Committee just last week – and I don’t think a man would be treated the same way.
‘Through to examples in council meetings where Labour Party members at the end of a meeting have shouted at me and sung a police song, every Breath you take, as a means of intimidating me.
What is the Haringey development vehicle (HDV) and why is it so controversial?
Labour-run Haringey council has been embroiled in a bitter battle over its controversial plans to join forces with the private sector to build more housing in the borough.
Labour councillors had backed the so-called Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), a £2billion plan to transfer council assets and land into a 50 50 partnership with private developer Lendlease.
The council said the plan was the only way to build badly-needed new housing in the borough.
It said the plan would create 6,400 new homes, thousands of jobs, a new school, health centre and library.
Councillors pointed out that there are more than 9,000 people on the council list and over 3,000 in temporary accommodation.
But critics have slammed the plan which they say amounts to ‘social cleansing’.
Ms Kober’s departure comes after over a dozen other Labour councillors quit or were deselected.
Haringey is expected to become the first Momentum-run Labour council after local elections in May.
‘That is a song about stalking. A man would not have been treated that way.’
Ms Kober quit as council chief after a loud and angry campaign by Momentum activists to seize control of the council.
And the final straw appeared to come just over a week ago when Labour’s NEC – the ruling body which Momentum has recently taken over – took the highly unusual step of urging her to change council policy on a controversial housing scheme known as the HDV.
The move to interfere with local democracy sparked a furious response by Labour councillors across the country who wrote an open letter detailing their anger.
But days later Ms Kober – one of Labour’s most senior female local leaders – announced she was going.
She laid the blame for the abuse at a ‘toxic culture’ which is sweeping through Britain.
She said: ‘We see it across the country, the way Jacob Rees -Mogg was treated at the weekend, the way Diane Abbott was treated, we see it when the political editor of the BBC (Laura Kuenssberg) has to take bodyguards to Labour Party conference.’
And she told how her attempts to try to help stamp out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was met with ugly protests by Momentum activists.
She said: ‘Take one example, I proposed a motion on anti-Semitism and momentum called a demonstration of that meeting to protest against that motion.
‘Demonstrations are part of the political discourse.
‘But we were screamed and shouted at in that meeting, my councillors were screamed and shouted at that they will be seen in their constituency Labour parties.
‘That cannot be an acceptable part of the political debate.’
Her comments come amid reports that Labour’s NEC is allowing a string of hard-left activists back into the party.
A man accused of anti-Semitism and a former leading member of the far-left Militant faction are among those let back in, according to The Sunday Times.
Leaked documents from Labour’s headquarters reveal that a number of hard-left activists are being allowed back into the party’s ranks.
Mike Sivier, who was expelled by the party last year over claims he had posted anti-Semitic abuse online, was among those being handed back their party membership, the paper reported.
Alan Fogg, 76, who played a leading role in the Trotskyist group Militant in its takeover of Liverpool council in the 1980s, is also said to have bee readmitted to the party.
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