A LABOUR-RUN north London council’s plans to transfer its housing to a private company is under threat as left candidates are expected to make sweeping gains in party ballots, the Star can reveal today.
The Blairite leader of Haringey Council, Claire Kober, survived a deselection challenge on Wednesday night, but a source told the Star yesterday that while she had “won the battle of Seven Sisters,” she was set to “lose the war.”
She is seen as the driving force behind the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), a project that would see £2 billion worth of council housing stock handed to privateers LendLease.
Thousands of tenants face losing their homes when they are knocked down as part of regeneration plans that have been branded “social cleansing.”
With 64 votes to 19, Ms Kober won comfortably. Had she lost, she would not have been automatically selected to stand in next May’s council elections and would have faced a hustings with other potential candidates.
But the source suggested that Ms Kober remains in a “vulnerable position” after losing key supporters in other wards in the borough.
Labour whip Lorna Reith is understood to have failed to win automatic reselection in Tottenham Hale and key ally Joe Goldberg has said he won’t be seeking re-election in May.
It is believed that the elections will could give Haringey Council an anti-HDV majority, placing the project under threat.
The HDV has also attracted condemnation from local MPs Catherine West and David Lammy.
Last month, it was revealed that United Nations human rights experts are investigating the effects of gentrification following complaints over the proposed closure of Tottenham’s Latin American market.
Earlier this week, Haringey Councillor Stuart McNamara resigned and made a stinging attack on Ms Kober, comparing her to Margaret Thatcher.
He accused the council leader of an “horrific wasting of money on vanity projects” and called on her to resign before she does further damage to the borough.
Mr McNamara said that Ms Kober had used Haringey as her “own personal fiefdom” and refused to listen to others.
He wrote: “Your Thatcheresque ‘I have no reverse gear’ isn’t a sign of strength of leadership but an abysmal flaw whereby you see compromise as weakness.”
A High Court ruling on whether the HDV plans are legal is expected next month.