MP Philp slates council: ‘Kim Jong-un would blush at this’

WALTER CRONXITE reports on the latest in Croydon’s Brick by Brick nepotism scandal

Local MP Chris Philp has stepped into the row over nepotism among senior figures at the Labour-controlled council, and called for the sacking of Alison Butler, the deputy leader responsible for housing and regeneration.

The great leader

Two years ago, Butler was making a speech at the Labour Party Conference boasting of the success of Croydon’s in-house development company, Brick by Brick.

Since being registered in 2015, Brick by Brick has failed to complete a single home, its own business reports confirm that it is failing to deliver on its targets for unaffordable “affordable” housing, and the council’s finance chief has admitted that the company’s delays in delivering has created a £63million “slippage” in the council budget.

Now, as Inside Croydon reported yesterday, it has failed to secure a property that was key in its plans to build more than 2,000 flats – which potentially could be worth more than £350million and which was supposed to regenerate an whole section of the town centre.

As Inside Croydon revealed earlier this week, now Brick by Brick is doling out consultancy contracts – paid for ultimately by the borough’s Council Tax-payers – to a company with close family ties to Butler.

Butler’s son is employed by Brick by Brick contractors The Campaign Company, a business founded by former leading Labour Party official David Evans, who is also the father of Butler’s adult daughter.

Not so great deputy leader

Despite having “noted” previous council contracts awarded to TCC (which since 2014 have amounted to almost £200,000), Butler has never declared her links or her family’s to The Campaign Company in the council’s register of members’ interests, as required by the council’s Code of Conduct.

The deputy leader does, however, declare the employment status of her husband, Paul Scott, the chair of the council planning committee and an architect at TP Bennett. Council sources suggest that Butler has claimed not to be at all troubled by the reports this week, and that “she wants to protect her children”.

The blatant nepotism over The Campaign Company saw Croydon Council get yet another mention in the Rotten Boroughs column of Private Eye this week. And further action is being considered by some residents, who are aware that failures to declare interests in the councillors’ register may, in some cases, lead to a criminal prosecution which could see an offender fined and banned from public office for five years.

Now one of the borough’s MPs has waded into the controversy.

Philp, the Conservative MP for true blue Croydon South, which has had its own share of Brick by Brick housing schemes inflicted upon its residents, has compared the level of family involvement of the Butler-Scotts at Croydon Town Hall to the jobs for the boys evident in totalitarian North Korea.

Philp said, “This is another shocking example of the contentious Brick by Brick project being run by one family.

“Mum oversees the company responsible. Husband dishes out the planning consents with barely a second glance. And the company employing the son gets paid from the public purse to advise on selling the whole concept to the public.

“Even the world’s most notorious beneficiary of nepotism, Kim Jong-un, would blush at this charade.

“The whole thing is rife with conflict and Tony Newman should move either Alison Butler or Paul Scott to an unrelated role.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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4 Responses to MP Philp slates council: ‘Kim Jong-un would blush at this’

  1. They just never learn, do they?

    How many more things are being conveniently hidden from public scrutiny?

    Perhaps “Fill yer boots” should replace the current motto on Croydon’s coat of arms.

    • No, I still think the Council’s honest motto should be “Don’t bother. We won’t listen to you anyhow”
      I wrote to the Council a month ago about the new bins and again a day or two ago. My letters and emails were intended to convey a sense of urgency.
      This is the helpful reply that arrived this morning:
      Dear Mr Rabinowitz,
      “Thank you for your email, I apologise you are still waiting for a response from your last email. I have sent your email to Waste Services they will contact you within 15 working days about your enquiry, should you wish to contact them directly by telephone there number is: 020 86047282″
      Sorry for the inconvenience caused.'”
      It is all probably well meant….but 15 working days is three weeks! That’s not exactly lightning speed!

  2. Kim Jong-Un is not a good example for Master Philp to use.

    Kim may well have benefited from the nepotism of his dad and grandad…but he doesn’t do much giving on his own account. Just ask his late brother for his opinion. The many close relatives, associates and friends who have disappeared may also have something to say about that.

    No, the Council is bad, but not at that level.

    What is most worrying about the Council is the way it is run as a closed cabal by the Don and the way in which ordinary members outside the ruling cilque have no influence whatsoever. Mark you, I doubt that there would be any difference if the Tories got in again. Probably worse!

  3. davidjl2014 says:

    All Butler is interested in is the destruction of Private Landlords in Croydon, who as a whole serve their tenants well. But she hates the fact they make money out of it!
    Give her a portfolio of 50 properties and she might just sing another tune.
    But wait a minute………would anyone want her as their Landlord? She couldn’t run a bath.

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