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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