A recording has emerged of a Labour Cabinet member in the London Borough of Haringey dismissing the problem of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, whilst praising the disgraced Member of Parliament Chris Williamson.
In the recording, Cllr Noah Tucker criticises “the suspension of one of our best and most honest and most loyal MPs, Chris Williamson, for the crime of speaking the truth”.
He also states that the reasons eight MPs had left the Labour party for the Independent Group were “nothing whatsoever to do with antisemitism and nothing at all to do with allegations of bullying” and that they were actually attempting “to protect the power, the privilege and the huge wealth of a tiny minority of people”.
Cllr Tucker represents St Ann’s ward (part of the Tottenham constituency) and is Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Insourcing.
Even prior to these comments, he was considered a controversial figure. For example an opinion column in the Times from May 2018, highlighted Cllr Tucker’s membership of the Communist Party and his praise for Stalin. He also refused to vote for the Council adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.
There have also been accusations that a motion has been submitted to Hornsey & Wood Green CLP, which also falls within Haringey’s boundaries, calling for Chris Williamson’s reinstatement to the Labour Party and states that accusations of anti-Semitism were being used to “attack the leadership” of the party.
Speaking in response, Cllr Liz Morris, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Haringey Council, said that:
“Cllr Tucker’s comments reveal a complete lack of empathy for the victims of anti-Semitism and a willingness to ignore what they have suffered. He should apologise for the hurt he has caused and resign from the Council immediately. If he does not, his Labour colleagues should remove the Whip from him with immediate effect.”
Cllr Tammy Palmer, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Tottenham, further commented that:
“MPs like Luciana Berger who left the Labour Party over anti-Semitism deserve solidarity. Instead, Cllr Tucker chose to impugn their motives. I hope that David Lammy MP and the rest of Tottenham CLP will condemn without caveats Cllr Tucker’s behaviour.”
‘Cut comms, not cops’ was the message from Haringey Liberal Democrats as they moved an amendment to Haringey Council's annual budget.
The 15 strong group of Councillors called for the Labour-lead Council’s expenditure on publicity to be capped at £1 million a year. This would have saved taxpayers £400,000 a year, which the Lib Dems advocated using to reverse plans to cut six police officers from the borough.
Their case has been bolstered by the discovery that the Council spent £6,800 on a video telling the borough’s residents about its financial difficulties. The animated presentation claims that government cuts have taken the Council to “breaking point” and that “it’s vital that we work with you to ensure that every penny we spend goes on things residents need and value”.
Councillor Paul Dennison, Haringey Lib Dem finance spokesperson, said that:
“The police are a service that is needed and valued by Haringey residents. Expensive and self-serving pieces of publicity like this video are not. In fact, they are an insult to everyone struggling due to overstretched public services.
“Haringey spends £1.4 million a year on publicity. Some of this goes on useful things like advertising jobs or encouraging people to become foster parents. But too much goes on what amounts to Labour councillors promoting themselves.”
Revelations of a secret task force working on the future of the Latin Market at Wards Corner, threaten to further intensify the controversy surrounding plans to rehouse the market.
An email – sent only to Labour Councillors but subsequently seen by Haringey Liberal Democrats – has revealed that Labour is setting up a ‘Member Task & Finish Group’ to look into ‘the future management and ownership of the market”. It will consist of five councillors, all from the ruling Labour Group, and the Council has never made any public mention of its work.
Cllr Liz Morris, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Haringey Council, said that:
“The Council has lost the trust of traders through years of poor decisions. If it wants to rebuild the relationship, then it has to act transparently. Setting up a secret task force like this sends the wrong message.
“A Haringey Council scrutiny panel is already looking at the future of the market in an open and cross-party fashion. Labour must let them do their work and not undercut it by setting up an apparent secret competitor that meets behind closed doors.”
Cllr Tammy Palmer, spokesperson for Tottenham comments:
“The new Council administration promised residents a different council, one that would put the interests of the local community first. Sadly, once again they have failed the very people they were elected to represent.”
Haringey Liberal Democrats have selected their candidate for the West Green by-election that was triggered by the resignation of Labour’s Ishmael Osamor, following his conviction for possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply.
Haringey Liberal Democrats have reselected Dawn Barnes and Tammy Palmer as their prospective parliamentary candidates, with both vowing to make the fight against Brexit their priority.
Haringey Liberal Democrats have condemned a decision by Labour-led Haringey Council to demolish two blocks on the Broadwater Farm estate without balloting residents.
According to a recent article published in the Daily Mail, a Haringey Labour Councillor and son of a Labour MP has been convicted of serious drug offences. Cllr Ishmael Osamor (West Green ward) pleaded guilty to possession and intent to supply drugs (including ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine and cannabis) at the Bestival Festival in Dorset. The drugs had an estimated street value of £2,500.