Corbyn praises new activists amid claims Momentum members ‘forced out Labour council leader’ | London

Jeremy Corbyn has urged Labour to welcome “young energy” into the party amid claims his hard left supporters have been intimidating and bullying opponents.

The long-standing Haringay Council leader Claire Kober announced she was quitting after a campaign of “sexism” and” bullying” by Mr Corbyn’s supporters over a controversial PFI housing deal.

She had been ordered by the party’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) to pause plans to use a private finance deal to help pay for new homes after an outcry among many residents in the borough.

Jeremy Corbyn today applauded the NEC’s highly unusual decision to intervene in local politics in a speech to the Labour local government conference in Nottingham.

He said Labour councillors should welcome “mass participation” in the the party to “move on from Tory austerity and the failed privatisation obsession”.

Mr Corbyn acknowledged that Government cuts meant councils were faced with “appalling choices” and said Haringey believed they were acting in the best interests of residents.

The decision to intervene to stop the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) had been a “highly unusual case” aimed at giving space for a medication process, he added.

He said the the collapse of outsourcing giant Carillion and the bailout of the East Coast Mainline franchise had undermined the arguments for privatisation.

And he praised councils who had brought services in-house.

“We must urgently move on from Tory austerity and the failed privatisation obsession that has allowed services for the many to become cash cows for the few,” he said.

“Int he last month the arguments for privatisation – always threadbare and flawed -have now been brutally exposed by events. The whole edifice of the ‘private good, public bad’ dogma has crumbled.”

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