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Haringey Council leader to quit amid 'bullying' claims

Claire Kober Image copyright Haringey Council
Image caption Claire Kober became leader of Haringey Council in 2008

Haringey Council's leader has accused sections of the Labour Party of "sexism" and "bullying" amid her decision to quit her role.

Claire Kober's administration had a public row with members of Momentum over controversial regeneration plans.

Momentum had urged the council to halt a controversial £2bn deal with a private property developer to build 6,500 new homes.

Labour's Andrew Gwynne said he was "sorry" to see to see Ms Kober go.

Ms Kober says she will stand down as council leader after May's local elections.

Her decision comes after 22 Haringey councillors opposed to the scheme asked Labour's National Executive (NEC) to intervene in the scheme known as the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV).

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It was a private-public partnership between the council and developers which Momentum activists and some other party members opposed.

Several members wrote to the NEC, which passed a motion requesting the HDV be stopped unless there was more of a consensus.

It meant Ms Kober could not sign off the deal.

This decision was met with criticism from several Labour council leaders across the country who publicly backed Ms Kober.

Image caption Claire Kober will stand down in May 2018

Ms Kober feels she wasn't consulted over the NEC's ruling which she says was handled "very badly".

Standing down, Ms Kober felt "deeply disappointed".

She added: "The sexism, bullying, undemocratic behaviour, and outright personal attacks on me, as the most senior woman in Labour local government, has left me disappointed and disillusioned."

Ms Kober said she "didn't want to go over details" of her claims, but added she was "in no doubt that the behaviour and actions of certain individuals at certain times met the test of both sexism and bullying and politically intimidating behaviour".

Labour's shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said he didn't think the NEC's intervention was "high-handed".

He added: "I don't think it is the biggest row in the world, but I think it is just a case of asking people to pause, have a conversation and have a look at it."

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