The COVID Diaries – 88 24th June
The Guardian newspaper is reporting:
“Robert Jenrick the housing secretary, is under pressure to resign after newly released documents indicated that he had “insisted” a planning decision for a £1bn development should be rushed through so a Tory donor’s company could reduce costs by up to £50m.
“In one document, a civil servant in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government wrote that the secretary of state (SoS) wanted the Westferry development in east London to be signed off the following day so that Richard Desmond’s company would avoid the community infrastructure levy (CIL).
“On timing, my understanding is that SoS is/was insistent that decision issued this week ie tomorrow – as next week the viability of the scheme is impacted by a change in the London CIL regime,” the official wrote.
“The documents also show that Desmond, the former media owner and pornographer, lobbied Jenrick about the deal in writing and arranged a site visit for him.
“Desmond urged Jenrick to rush through the deal before the levy was introduced, writing: “We don’t want to give the Marxists loads of doe for nothing!”