Thursday, 14 July 2011

Housing market renewal. Minister says he is fed up with "sob stories"

I have worked hard to bring togteher a coaltion of those affected by cuts to HMR areas to challange the Governments axing of the scheme.

Tuesday's debate in parliament so the Government unable to justify clearly and concisely whyu it has abandoned so many communties leaving their neighbourhoods looking like ghettos.

Under pressure the minister, Andrew Stunnel MP said "anyone can bring their sob stories" relating to the plight of people trapped in blighted run down HMR areas. (Scroll video to 1:12:30 to watch)

This language was insenstive to say the least and was objected to by members representing HMR areas with Jack Dromey asking the minister to withdraw the comment which he declined to do.

Hansard later omitted the word "sob" raising a Point of Order to Speaker john Bercow on the floor of the Commons as to why this had occurred. Had officials run up after to alter the record? It is absolutely clear on the video the minister uses the words "sob stories".

The Speaker (Bercow) promised to look into the matter but with no answer a further Point of Order was raised yesterday to point out hansard had been corrected but that the word 'difficult' had been added. Not a word the minister used.

With all the furore at the moment it would be ill judged to do anyting other than ensure Hansard of all publications is reporting the facts.