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WESTMINSTER LAUNCHES INQUIRY INTO ASBESTOS ALLEGATIONS

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Westminster City Council has launched an inquiry into allegations that 60 homeless families were moved into homes r...
Westminster City Council has launched an inquiry into allegations that 60 homeless families were moved into homes riddled with asbestos by the ruling Tory group as part of its drive to win the 1990 local elections, reports The Independent (p2).

Documents have been handed to the BBC's Newsroom South East programme showing that the GLC had informed Westminster there was degradation of asbestos on the structure of tower blocks on the Elgin Estate.

The programme alleged that in 1987 the council decided against moving families into the blocks because they were 'riddled with asbestos'. But in May 1989 homeless families were moved into two of the blocks in a safe Labour ward, allegedly as part of the Tory campaign to remove potential Labour voters from marginal wards.

Before the families were moved in, the council had been smashing toilets and other fittings to ensure that squatters could not move intto the homes, according to Jonathan Rosenberg, co-ordinator of Walterton and Elgin Community Homes, the association which has taken over the blocks.

The families were moved out after the association contacted Tony Blair, then Labour employment spokesman, who in turn contacted the Health and Safety Executive, the paper reports.
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