Socialist Worker

Prescott rips up homes promise

Issue No. 1926

JOHN PRESCOTT, the deputy prime minister, is trying to back out of a commitment he made at the Labour Party conference.

On the very morning of the Defend Council Housing (DCH) national conference last week, Prescott sent a letter to Austin Mitchell MP.

Mitchell has been campaigning with others for a “fourth option” of allowing councils to invest in public housing when tenants are balloted over privatisation.

The letter says, “There is not and will not be a ‘fourth option’ for providing additional funds to local authorities to meet the decent homes standard.

“We continue to believe the strategy we have in place remains the right one.”

In September Prescott said, “Public financing of housing doesn’t treat local authorities on a level playing field, and I want to see that changed and I promise to do that.”

The Labour Party conference voted by a ratio of eight to one to add the “fourth option” to future housing ballots. Prescott is simply ignoring his members’ democratic decision.

DCH has produced an open letter to John Prescott to remind him of his promise.

For copies of the letter go to

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Sat 6 Nov 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1926
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