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Politics Haringey council suffers another blow as cabinet member quits

HARINGEY council Labour leader Claire Kober, who is embroiled in a massive development row, suffered another blow today when a member of her cabinet quit.

Opponents of the scheme that she is driving include local Labour MPs, Liberal Democrats and numerous Labour activists.

The widely criticised Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) will transfer large swathes of public land in the north London borough to a partnership between the council and the Australian developer Lendlease.

Many Labour councillors favouring the HDV have been deselected, while others have stood down in the expectation that their candidacies will not be endorsed by local party members. This means that Ms Kober is likely to be toppled as council leader after the local elections in May.

Peray Ahmet, a member of her cabinet, has now warned Ms Kober not to attempt to “tie the hands” of the new councillors and a future Labour government by pushing through a commitment to the HDV.

She said that attempting to raise concerns within the cabinet had been “futile” and she accused Ms Kober of practising a “top-down style of leadership.”

Ms Ahmet, who served as Haringey’s environment chief, said it was “protocol” for councils not to take major decisions shortly before elections.

In a reply, Ms Kober maintained that such a protocol “does not exist.”

She defended the council’s policies and accused Ms Ahmet of changing her positions on the HDV and other development issues.

“I fail to see how a decision of any council, even Haringey, could tie the hands of a current or future national government,” she added.

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