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Credit: Paul Rutland

Tuesday 30th
posted by Joana Ramiro in Britain

LABOUR's London Assembly housing spokesman scolded Newham Borough Council leaders yesterday for being “unnecessarily aggressive” with campaigning homeless mums.

Tom Copley challenged Labour colleagues as the mums descended on a meeting of the east London council last night.

Newham council is led by Labour Mayor Robin Wales and Labour holds all 60 council seats. 

Focus E15 Mothers is occupying an abandoned block of flats on the Carpenters Estate in Stratford since last Sunday to protest at the lack of social housing.

But the only contact contact the council has had with the mums was to send officers to cut off their water and hand them an eviction notice on Friday. 

Mr Copley told the Star yesterday that councillors “could have handled this situation better” despite facing Tory budget cuts. 

“The language the council has used with regards to the Focus E15 mums has been unnecessarily aggressive and combative,” he said. 

“Single mothers in need of a decent home to live in are not the villains — rather it is the government’s policies which should be the subject of condemnation.

“I have enormous sympathy with the Focus E15 mums.”

Mr Copley’s message of solidarity with the group has been echoed by Labour MPs in London.

Jeremy Corbyn MP told the Star yesterday that “I absolutely support the E15 mothers.”

He added that he was “fed up” with the land privatisation policies pursued by Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson that have only worsened the city’s social housing crisis. 

Left MP John McDonnell also sent the mums “support and solidarity in your campaign for a decent home” through Twitter this week. 

The intervention of the respected MPs will pile pressure on Mr Wales to find the single mums homes in Newham, rather than shipping them out of the borough. 

The relationship between the mums and Mr Wales soured when he was filmed shouting at them during a protest at a summer fair. 

The Star contacted a number of Newham councillors for comment, but all enquiries went unanswered.