Housing secretary’s grip on power weakens as ‘cash for favours’ scandal intensifies

first_imgRobert Jenrick’s position as Housing Secretary has weekend over the weekend as the scandal surrounding his approval of tycoon Richard Desmond’s redevelopment of the Westferry Printworks in the East End of London has re-ignited.Every major national newspaper ran stories revealing more details of the ongoing ‘cash for favours’ revelations which Jenrick has vehemently denied, claiming the process was all ‘above board’.But it now transpires that Jenrick was shown a promotional film of the development by Desmond when they attended a fundraising dinner together last year, challenging the official line that Jenrick did not discuss the development with Desmond in ‘any way’.“I took that decision in good faith, with an open mind, and I am confident all the rules were followed in doing so,” he said in parliament last week.PrintworksIn early January this year Jenrick gave Desmond the green light to develop the Westferry Printworks in East London into 1,500 apartments despite problems with local planners.But the decision was revoked after it was discovered that two weeks after the decision Desmond had made a £12,000 donation to Conservative Party funds.The timing of the decision has also raised eyebrows. Jenrick rubber-stamped the application just a day before Tower Hamlets raised its community infrastructure levy, saving Desmond over £40 million, and accepted a lower level of affordable housing within the £1 billion development, saving him another £106 million.Since then the decision has been put on ice after Jenrick accepted that his decision was unlawful, appeared to show bias, and should be determined again by a different minister.Read more about Robert Jenrick’s other gaffes. Westferry Printworks Robert Jenrick richard desmond June 22, 2020Nigel LewisOne commentAndrew Stanton, CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist 22nd June 2020 at 4:13 pmThe problem that the housing secretary and the ‘new’ housing minister have is that ‘cash for favours’ is an easy war cry for many to rally around. The truth as they say will out, but it does seem bad timing for the conservative party.In the meantime, with the country embroiled in the pandemic it is a great source of irritation that Jenrick less than three-months ago was looking to reform the planning system.Where the government had stated “These reforms will aim to create a simpler planning system and improve the capacity, capability and performance of Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to accelerate the development process … where LPAs fail to meet their local housing need, there will be firm consequences, including a stricter approach taken to the release of land for development and greater government intervention.”So, you have I am afraid to be a paragon of virtue, if you want to change things, and not on the backfoot justifying awkward decisions.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing secretary’s grip on power weakens as ‘cash for favours’ scandal intensifies previous nextRegulation & LawHousing secretary’s grip on power weakens as ‘cash for favours’ scandal intensifiesRobert Jenrick is battling for his political life after more revelations were published over the weekend about his decision to rubber-stamp a contentious housing development.Nigel Lewis22nd June 20201 Comment1,307 Viewslast_img read more

Ending 30 years of hurt makes Liverpool title win very fitting

first_imgThirty years of hurt came to an end for Liverpool when they were confirmed as Premier League champions on Thursday, courtesy of second-placed Manchester City’s 2-1 defeat by Chelsea.The result at Stamford Bridge means Liverpool have an unassailable 23-point lead over Manchester City with seven games left. Liverpool were last champions of England when they won the old First Division title in 1989/1990.After this was a decline in fortunes, which saw Manchester United and Arsenal, then Chelsea and Manchester City seize power.Inspirational manager Juergen Klopp has rekindled the Anfield flame though.He delivered the club’s 19th top-flight title, one behind arch-rivals United’s record of 20, after finishing runners-up to Manchester City in a thrilling race last season.As the Chelsea game moved into stoppage time at an empty stadium in London, 350km away outside Anfield Liverpool fans began lighting red flares as the celebrations began in earnest. Also watching from afar was an emotional Klopp.“I have no words. It’s unbelievable and much more than I ever thought would be possible,” he said, after being congratulated by Liverpool great Kenny Dalglish, manager of the 1989/1990 title winners.“It’s easy to motivate this team because of our great history. It’s pure joy for me to coach them.”In the last 12 months Liverpool have won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and World Club Cup.But regaining their status as top dogs in England, something that was almost a given in the 1970s and 1980s, was the priority. “Jurgen has been fantastic and epitomises everything Liverpool Football Club stands for,” Dalglish said in reaction.“And it’s not just a one-off. Last year they came within a point of it and this year they have only lost once.“Onwards and upwards, I think they have a lot more happy days to look forward to now.”In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a three-month suspension of the season and delaying Liverpool’s coronation, they have won the title with a record seven games to spare.RelatedPosts Breaking: Arsenal win FA Cup, qualify for Europa League Blades boss Wilder unconcerned by top-four talks EPl: Struggling Norwich face Hammers test They eclipsed the mark jointly held by Manchester United (2000/2001) and Manchester City (2017/2018), who sealed their respective titles with five games left.Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola paid tribute to Liverpool.“Big congratulations for Liverpool,” said the Spaniard, whose title-winning side finished 25 points ahead of Klopp’s team two seasons ago and pipped them by a point last term.“After 30 years without the title they played every game this season like it was their last, with incredible focus. We were not consistent enough,” he added.Had it not been for the unprecedented stoppage Liverpool were on course to smash the record for the earliest clinching of the league title.Instead, they are now the first team to lift the coveted trophy as late as June.Liverpool finished last season with nine straight league wins.But after claiming the UEFA Champions League by beating Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid, they began the new campaign in relentless fashion to leave rivals trailing in their wake.With 28 wins and one defeat in 31 games, Liverpool have set a record-breaking pace and were 25 points clear in February – the biggest lead in Premier League history.When they beat West Ham United that month, it was their 18th successive top-flight win, matching Manchester City’s record.But when their hopes of an unbeaten season were dashed by a 3-0 defeat at Watford, it was a result that was merely a blip.Leading the charge has been Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian forward who is the first Liverpool player to score at least 20 goals in all competitions in three consecutive seasons.This was since Michael Owen achieved same at the start of the millennium.Salah scored on Wednesday as Liverpool thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 at Anfield – a result that meant Manchester City had to beat Chelsea to delay the inevitable for a while longer.Manchester City were the first team to breach the 100-point barrier in the Premier League two seasons ago.But Liverpool are on course to shatter that mark, as well as records for most points at home (55) and most wins in a season (32).Reuters/NAN.Tags: English Premier League ChampionsEPLLiiverpoolRecord Breaking Campaignlast_img read more