Cllr Liam Smith, the Labour leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, has been accused of jumping the 11,000 queue for council housing after being allocated a two bedroom property just four weeks after splitting up with his wife Emma.

Housing allocation is a toxic issue in that borough where the BNP were recently strong pushing the message of preference being given to immigrants. Labour and the BNP have operated as rival socialist parties both failing to accept that the politicised system of social housing will inevitably lead to scarcity compared to allowing a housing market to operate.

Anyway Cllr Smith, paid £45,000 a year in councillor allowances, says that his 14-year-old son wished to move in with him leaving behind his mother and siblings and that the same criteria would have applied to anyone else.

Why couldn't Cllr Smith afford to pay for rent in the private rented sector? Why wasn't he placed with his son in temporary accommodation to allow others in greater need to take preference?

Terry Justice, a former Conservative councillor from the borough, says:

"It's utterly disgraceful that the leader of the council has jumped the queue and tried to use his son to get around the rules."

I doubt the rules have been broken. But this certainly doesn't pass the "smell taste."