Steve Reed – 2020 Comments on Westferry Scandal

Below is the text of the comments made by Steve Reed, the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, on 24 June 2020.

These explosive new revelations show clear discrepancies between what the Secretary of State told the House of Commons and what appears in the official documents.

The documents clearly show that Mr Jenrick did not notify officials immediately after his meeting with Mr Desmond; rather than “closing down” the discussion as he claims, he initiated contact with Mr Desmond by text message the following day; and it confirms that he rushed through the decision specifically to help the developer avoid a £30-50m levy payable to the local council for infrastructure in one of the poorest local authorities in England.

The Housing Secretary needs to come to the House to explain these discrepancies as a matter of urgency: the public must be reassured that there is not one rule for the Conservatives and their wealthy donors and another rule for everyone else.