WALTER CRONXITE, political editor, on an early promotion for Croydon’s newest MP
Sarah Jones has made an impressive early move up the greasy pole of Westminster politics by being appointed as PPS – Parliamentary Private Secretary – to John Healey, Labour’s shadow housing spokesman.
The Croydon Central MP, elected last June, will have the task of watching Healey’s back in a fractious Parliamentary Labour Party where so many MPs are silent, sullen opponents of the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
Healey said that he is “so pleased” to have Jones joining the team when her appointment was announced yesterday morning.
One Corbyn opponent is Steve Reed OBE, the Croydon North MP, who did not receive a call back to Labour’s front bench in the opposition reshuffle announced on Friday.
Jones is therefore now the most highly placed Labour politician in Croydon. In positions of power and influence, the Tories have the unelected Gavin Barwell, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff and regular promoter of Nando’s.
Reed resigned as a shadow local government minister in June 2016 as part of the “chicken coup”, the failed attempt to remove Corbyn in a rolling mass resignation by Blairite members of Labour’s front bench team.
Perhaps Jones will pick up some good tips from across the country on how local authorities can actually deliver truly affordable housing in Croydon, after the miserable failure to deliver in any new homes in Croydon since 2014.
Housing will be a significant weakness for Labour in the local elections on May 3, with both not a single brick laid by the council’s £1million loss-making development company, Brick by Brick, and the site of the council’s old offices at Taberner House also seeing zero progress since 2014 on promised housing there.
Maybe Jones can turn Croydon’s Labour council’s slogan “Delivering for Croydon” into a reality when it comes to affordable housing.
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Good caption under the Healey/Corbyn photo.
Good to see Sarah Jones getting on, particularly in housing where I know she has detailed knowledge – she used to work for Shelter. Sarah has twice come out with us at Nightwatch, she understands the complexities of homelessness.
I don’t miss an opportunity to push our proposals for tackling the housing crisis, some of which don’t cost a penny, but just involve a change of emphasis from government, so here they are again:
Genuine diversity is required, not an over-balanced support for new build for sale
Give local authorities power to cancel planning permission for builder inaction
Bring existing buildings into use for rent
Encourage small landlords instead of discouraging them with tax disincentives
Permit councils to build for rent without encumbering them with right to buy obligations
Return to rent controls and prevent ‘no fault’ evictions