Newham mayor declines to attend Royal Docks hustings

By Rob Virtue on May 12, 2014 1:06 PM |

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Newham's Labour Party will not send a member to a hustings on Monday as it claims the event's organisers "deliberately misrepresent" it.

Anti-airport expansion group Hacan East and the Momentum Group, which links east London communities with sustainable business, are joint-hosting the meeting of major parties.

Labour, the ruling party in Newham, is the only group declining to attend the event at Royal Docks' Britannia Village Hall.

A spokesman for Newham Labour said the event was "organised by self-appointed organisations that deliberately misrepresent the views of the council and those elected to it".

The meeting was titled 'how will the Royal Docks redevelopment affect the local community?'

But Labour was concerned the discussion would be dominated by London City Airport expansion.

The party spokesman said in a statement: "These groups are fully aware that any expansion of London City Airport is currently subject to a planning application.

"As the planning authority, Newham Council has written to more than 25,000 local homes asking for their views on the proposed expansion of London City Airport and will listen carefully to these and other responses as part of a proper process."

It added it was not consulted on the time or date of the Royal Docks meeting and members were "already fully committed" meeting Newham residents.

However, chairman of Hacan East John Stewart, who asked Labour's Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales or another representative of the group to attend, criticised the party's response.

"This must be one of the most defensive statements put out by any political party," he said. "This meeting is intended to give all political parties a chance to have their say about the airport."

The meeting will begin at the hall in Evelyn Road at 7.30pm on Monday.