Last night I took part in a candidates’ TV debate on Channel S. Aside from the usual tiresome squabbling over Labour’s selection processes, one real issue that had not emerged so far in the campaign leapt out. It emerged that the Labour team view the right to buy as a “disaster” and when pressed, would not confirm their commitment to the right to acquire in new social housing schemes. The Green party voiced their opposition to this cornerstone of social mobility and the Lib Dem candidate even threatened to use new legislation to suspend the right to buy in Tower Hamlets altogether.
I was the only candidate to stand up for this groundbreaking, fair and crucial policy, even though I myself am not able to benefit from it.
I am staggered that a policy that has helped countless East Enders get on the property ladder, and that many sitting Labour councillors have taken advantage of, is now under threat for ideological reasons. The hypocrisy of pulling up the ladder on those saving towards the dream of home ownership, when so many members of the Labour party own more than one ex-local authority home, is staggering.
Tower Hamlets voters need to be clear on one thing: To protect the right to buy and right to acquire on Thursday, they can only trust the Conservatives.