AshcroftA string of deceptions from Nicky Gavron, the millionairess Labour London Assembly member in the Question Time to the Mayor of London yesterday - just over an hour in. She started off saying that Sir Simon Milton had described social rented housing as "a dead end."  It turned out her source for this was an article in The Mirror on Monday which without giving any context said the remark had been made at a meeting attended by Sir Simon. The Mirror account hadn't even accused Sir Simon of uttering the remark and didn't include the full sentence in which the words were supposedly uttered.

Gavron said a Localis pamphlet which actually proposed improving help for homeless was instead planning to end such help. Another gross distortion. She said it was a Tory think tank although it is independent, non partisan body. Boris said he didn't know anything about Localis which will be a disappointment to them. But even if their work had not been misrepresented it is stretching his remit to suggest he is responsible for it. 

Then Gavron went on to make some allegations about my borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. She said: "Seven well built popular estates with roughly five thousand homes are up for demolition and replacement with no promise that there will be replacement of socially rented units on them let alone an increase." On the contrary the pledge is "cast-iron."

The Council leader Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh has further pledged: "If redevelopment plans come forward, nobody, I repeat nobody, will be made homeless or be forced out of the borough. Quite the reverse. This
is about ensuring that families and future generations want to carry on living and growing in H&F."

He added: "Working with H&F Homes over the next 15-20 years, we are committed to trying to improve our estates. We want to create a better mix of housing, while ensuring all our neighbourhoods are safe, vibrant areas where people want to stay."

The point of any redevelopment would not be to leave tenants without homes but to provide them with better ones. Also to provide more homes in total in mixed communities. If this is not feasible then the development will not go ahead. With the uncertainty of plans at an early stage Labour may feel there is "traction" from the "You'll lose your homes" message. Maybe there is in the short term. But what a desperate, despicable type of campaign to resort to.

Gavron lives in a mansion in Highgate. According to The Guardian she was so embarrassed by its great size that she has three doorbells to imply she lives in a flat. She then issued a rather confusing denialto The Times. I haven't been to Highgate to count her doorbells but it all sounds a bit rum. Anyway, from there she has the audacity to pontificate on "well built" tower blocks in my borough (example of Ashcroft Square pictured.) Would she feel the same if she had to live there? She has not explained quite why Labour councils knocking down tower blocks is good but when Tory councils do so it is bad.

Boris dealt robustly with Gavron's smears: "I certainly think it's wrong to scaremonger and to give people a false impression about what the Council's intentions are," responded Boris. Gavron then responded: "I will leave it there."

I should if I were you, Nicky. Also perhaps you should do some independent checks next time rather than relying on lazily plagiarizing material from the Labour MP Andrew Slaughter.