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“This stinks” - renters’ leader verdict on Jenrick planning scandal

The director of renters’ campaign group Generation Rent says the long-running scandal of a planning decision made by the Housing Secretary and now declared illegal “stinks so much.”

Dan Wilson Craw made the comments on Twitter over the weekend as the latest revelations in the scandal were revealed by the Daily Mail.

The essence of the story is that Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick and former newspaper magnate Richard Desmond sat on the same table at a Tory fundraising dinner in November last year; some eight weeks later, Jenrick approved a plan put forward by Desmond to build 1,524 homes on an east London site, Westferry Printworks - despite the independent Planning Inspectorate recommending that the application be rejected. 


Shortly afterwards, Desmond made a financial contribution to the Conservative Party.

Last month Jenrick admitted acting unlawfully in the decision, following legal action initiated by the local Tower Hamlets council. 

Jenrick’s January decision was made just one day before the council adopted planning rule changes which would have meant that Desmond would have had to pay between £30m and £50m more to the council.

But now the Daily Mail has calculated that Jenrick’s illegal decision was even more lucrative for Desmond. 

The newspaper contends that documents have now revealed that a last-minute change to the planning proposal - just before it won Jenrick’s support - reduced the volume of affordable housing in the scheme to below that level which was routinely demanded by the Tower Hamlets council.

The newspaper calculates that this meant Jenrick’s approval - before it was declared illegal - effectively bagged the developer an extra saving of £106m.

Jenrick has denied any wrongdoing throughout the saga, which has now been going on for some weeks.

Over the weekend, Generation Rent’s Dan Wilson Craw tweeted: “This stinks so much. Tower Hamlets has some of the most overcrowded homes in the country. It needs all the affordable homes it can get.”

  • James The Surveyor

    So Jenrick defrauded Tower Hamletts of £30-£50 million in lieu of a bung to his political party and HE'S STILL A MINISTER.

  • Algarve  Investor

    It definitely does stink. At any other time he'd have resigned or been sacked long ago. The fact he's still clinging on says it all about this government. He's a Brexiteer and a Johnson loyalist - who will do and say exactly as he's told - so that means he'll be staying in place no matter how incriminating the evidence gets.

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    • 22 June 2020 09:38 AM

    Is there anyone at all in this Government that are not crooked, a thief, only interested in themselves, or a complete idiot?

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    David, they're only eclipsed by the Labour party - which is no great advertisement for British politics.
    My own personal preferences are for Farage, as he's a kind of British version of Trump, and I think we need businessmen in politics, Not, well, career politicians. I'd also go in favour of Proportional representation and scrap the Whip system.
    Back to Jenrick, - well... he's as dodgy as a nine bob Note. !


    Whilst I don’t entirely disagree PossessionFriend, don’t be so flippant…Farage is an outstanding orator and master of logic, quick-thinking, history & detail. There may be some that don’t like his politics, but he only speaks from and formulates arguments based on evidence, regardless of how palatable or otherwise it is. He’s utterly wasted not in Parliament. There won’t be another Farage for a century.

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    • 22 June 2020 11:53 AM

    Farage is definitely the voice of the proverbial man down the pub.
    These are the ones that abandoned Labour to vote Tory to Get Brexit done!

    Now that is nearly done next GE they will vote for Farage with his new Reform Party.

    HE curries no favours with whinging self entitled elites like GR etc.

    The sooner he is elected to Parliament the better.

    About time we got rid of career politicians.

    Might be useful if a lot of them were LL as well seeing as 9 million constituents are tenants.
    At least then they would understand LL issues!

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    PLUS, he's the ONLY 'politician' who's raising the Chanel boat migrant fiasco.


    I’d say he’s more than that too…he’s not just a charismatic ‘man-of-the-people’ like others that frequent the pub, he’s garnered the support of those that consider themselves slightly more intellectually, politically & academically mature too, which is his real success. Brexit aside, many benefit-class and a significant number of the working class don’t bother voting.

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    • 22 June 2020 12:39 PM

    Ahh! Yes wonder how the recent Reading terrorist murderer arrived in the UK illegally as an alleged asylum seeker?

    Now correct me if I'm wrong but there are plenty of safe countries in Africa and there are certainly quite a few between Libiya and the UK.

    So why wasn't he deported to the nearest safe country from Libiya even accepting that all of Lybia is UNSAFE.

    Which I don't believe is the case!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    MI5 have 30,000 Terrorists on their books.
    We have plenty of spare Aircraft seat capacity at the moment -
    Enough said !


    Unfortunately the Home Secretary, Ms Priti Useless, is full of hot air. She talks about sendng them back and the grand total of Channel Gimmegrants returned this year is ZERO!

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    • 22 June 2020 13:05 PM

    Can you imagine what it will be like when the world is able to access the internet with Elon Musk's satellite network!!?

    That will give the world the opportunity via the internet to know how to abuse the UK welfare and NHS systems..

    Expect considerably more Gimmegrants to arrive illegally in the UK.
    Perhaps Lilly Allen can house them all and pay for them!?

    It seems no matter how allegedly poor these illegals they always have a smartphone giving access to INFORMATION.
    That is a very dangerous thing if a country like the UK has let us say porous borders!!


    Porous borders? Paul, we have the Border Farce Uber Service gong out to sea, likking for them and bringing them here!!!

    THey should be turning them around or taking them back to that SAFE country called France.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Ha, ' Gimmegrants ' - Love that one Paul, I might steal that one ;-)

  • Matthew Payne

    Lets hope No 20 since 1997 knows something about property....


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