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Gwynne 'sorry' over Kober resignation decision

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The shadow communities secretary has said he is “sorry” Haringey LBC leader Claire Kober has decided to stand down, but has appeared to advocate the decision by Labour’s national executive committee to intervene over the future of the council’s controversial public/private development vehicle.

After announcing her decision today, Cllr Kober sent a letter to the NEC slamming its decision last week to intervene in Haringey, describing the move as “legally dubious” and “democratically unsound”.

LGC understands Andrew Gwynne was due to attend the first mediation meeting with Cllr Kober today, but the Haringey leader cancelled minutes before it was due to start.

Cllr Kober rejected the NEC’s offer of a ‘mediation’ session, stating that to participate “would be a disservice to my colleagues in Labour local government”.

In a statement Mr Gwynne said: ”I am sorry Claire Kober is standing down. She has led Haringey through a very difficult time for local government, with councils battling to provide vital services in the face of brutal 40% cuts from Tory ministers.

“The housing crisis is a national scandal caused in 10 Downing Street. However, there are issues specific to Haringey that have caused concern for many residents and local politicians, which is why I have been asked to mediate.”

The mediation between the NEC and Haringey is meant to continue as Cllr Kober has said the decision on whether to proceed with the Haringey Development Vehicle will be made by her successor.

Under Haringey’s proposed partnership with Lendlease, the new body would take more than £2bn of council assets with the company owning a 50% stake. In return 6,400 homes and 20,000 jobs are meant to be created.

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