Westferry Printworks Development

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:58 pm on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Mary Foy Mary Foy Labour, City of Durham 2:58 pm, 24th June 2020

I thank my hon. Friend for that and totally agree with what she says. The fact that the Secretary of State knowingly made a decision that reduced affordable housing, and deprived a local council and its communities of much-needed funding, is a disgrace. It is deeply worrying, if not surprising, that the Secretary of State appeared more concerned with the interests of the wealthy property developers than the Tower Hamlets community. As Members of Parliament, we serve the public, not the powerful—at least we do on our side of the House. This is not just about leadership; it is about honesty, integrity and transparency. The public must be able to trust that the Government are making decisions in the people’s interest, not in their own personal interests or those of their wealthy friends.

It is going to be difficult for the Secretary of State to regain the trust of the public. He has promised to immediately publish all documentation and correspondence that relates to this matter—that really should have already happened. I hope that that clears up why he decided to overrule his own inspectors and provides the justification as to why, despite having a bias by his own admission, he actively brought the decision under his own control. The Secretary of State still has serious questions to answer, and I hope that we get the answers, because the voting public deserve better than this.