Socialist Worker

Hackney swings the budget axe

Issue No. 2242

Labour councillors in Hackney, east London, last week voted through a cuts budget last week.

Six Labour councillors had issued an open letter opposing the cuts.

This made many think that there may at least be a sharp debate on the budget, and that a handful of councillors may vote against it. They were sorely disappointed.

Protesters gathered outside the town hall, blocking the road, while others packed into the public gallery.

The meeting was closed down by protesters’ fury when Labour mayor Jules Pipes stood to introduce the budget.

A vote in the gallery—which included Labour Party members—agreed that the meeting should continue to see if any councillors opposed or spoke against the budget.

But not one broke ranks, including the six who had said they were opposed to cuts.

The mood in the gallery became increasingly bitter as the councillors gave each other standing ovations while laughing at protesters.

Labour members in the balcony were in tears. One Labour voter turned to her friend and said, “Never again”.

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