Kober’s ‘resignation’ isn’t quite a resignation

Claire Kober

It appears that reports that Haringey council leader Claire Kober has quit have been slightly exaggerated. In spite of an Evening Standard article stating that she has “quit today“, Ms Kober has not actually resigned but has rather announced that she will step down as leader – at May’s local elections.

This is, of course, something she could have announced at any time between now and May or even after the local elections.

At the same time, Ms Kober has published an open letter rejecting the request by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) for the council to participation in ‘mediation’, in which she labels the NEC’s behaviour ‘discourteous‘ and ‘perverse‘.

Questions will be raised about the timing of the announcement, the accompanying “blast” at “Corbynistas” and the decision to publish a letter critical of the Labour Party and its members. Opposition to her planned ‘HDV‘ project was widespread among local unions and residents and not limited to Labour members, let alone ‘Corbynistas’.

kt hdv.png

smt hdv.png
Haringey Labour members tweet their ‘take’ on Claire Kober’s ‘blast’

Rumours are now circulating that Ms Kober will be appointed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as his head of housing, which will not endear the mayor to those who have are celebrating her decision to step down.

However, the news that she has opted to leave the final decision on the housing project – likely to mean it will proceed no further – will be welcomed by those who have been forced to fight long and hard to end a scheme they considered to be ‘social cleansing’ with no guarantee of social housing in the redevelopment.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. “Rumours are now circulating that Ms Kober will be appointed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as his head of housing,”

    On far too many occasions I have to remind myself that Sadiq Khan professes to be a Labour Party politician.

  2. Claire Kobe is a Cooperative councillor.

    So, yet again, we have Cooperative councillors and MPs, whose campaigns have been funded and supported by Labour Party members and who won their seats thanks to standing under the Labour brand, pushing policies which are completely at odds with the Labour Party manifesto.

    If there was ever an example of why the Labour Party should immediately terminate its completely one sided and unbeneficial electoral agreement with the Cooperative Party, Claire Kober is it.

    Why on earth is the Labour Party and its 600,000 members allowing the Cooperative Party, which has 10,000 members and no cash, to continue to stand on a Labour ticket when all it ever does is stab the Labour Party in the back, as Ms Kiber has so publicly done today.

    The Cooperative Party disagrees with nationalisation and has been at the centre of the plots to undermine the leadership of thr Labour Party.

    Thanks to the electoral agreement with Labour, the Cooperative Party, the smallest Party in the country with just 10,000 members, has 38 MPs and, according to its own website, thousands of councillors. So it has a ratio of one councillor for every single one of its members!

    This is an absurd arrangement and represents the most significant democratic deficit in the Labour Party today.

    1. Correction: the Cooperative Party has a ratio of one councillor for every ten members.

      That is a quite incredible statistic. I am very surprised this issue isn’t raised more often.

      It is time for the Labour Party to terminate its electoral agreement with the Cooperative Party. It is counter-productive for the party to have this agreement and the agreement is not necessary regarding policy. The Cooperative Party would be welcome to lobby the Labour Party like any other organisation after the agreement is cancelled.

    2. There are some good Co-op MP’s , it’s the rot that are the neoliberal Blairites that have infected that party , that’s the problem ( and the same can still be said for some of our own Labour MPS too! ) .
      I don’t understand why on earth we have a party within a party it’s time they simply accepted root and branch ALL the Labour values and just become Labour MPs or go stand solely on their own CO-OP platform and up against a true Labour MP. Same goes for the local councillors, stop riding the coat-tails of Labour get onboard or GET OFF .

      1. Exactly.

        And this raises another issue. Labour members have been suspended for tweeting about the Green Party, yet other Labour members are allowed to be members of another political party, the Cooperative Party, whilst being Labour members! The current rules are discriminatory and enforce double standards.

        It is a complete farce. Logically, one can only hold one set of political beliefs and therefore can only be a member of one political party. The Cooperative Party should be offered the choice, be absorbed into Labour or its members should choose whether to be a member of Labour or the Cooperative Party but cannot be a member of both.

        The electoral agreement is an anachronism which needs to be addressed. The reasons for it being created no longer exist.

        I believe is time to terminate the agreement in order to resolve this anomaly, which has caused a democratic deficit in the party and injustices against loyal Labour members.

  3. I’ve just looked at the Haringey HDV mythbuster page. One Q&A says

    HDV myth
    Council housing tenants will be made homeless and forced to leave Haringey.

    HDV reality
    If any housing estate land transfers, all existing council tenants have a guaranteed right of return on equivalent terms.

    So is this saying that council house tenants would definitely get a secure tenancy on the same rent in the HDV devt or is there another meaning to the answer?

    Thanks if you can clarify.

    1. The blurb says one thing but the actual HDV details say another, according to Chakrabortty and others

    1. But why Bazza when they have a perfectly good party called Labour .If they want policies that help the many and in general look after ordinary folks in society then I fail to see what the CO-op party has to offer that is better than those policies of Labour . It is a small step to make I feel to unify the CO-op into the LP . The issue ,as I’ve posted before ,is the neo-liberal Blairites that still will not accept the changes for the better and they should simply move on Ms Kober is a prime example.

    2. Are you also a member of the Labour Party, Bazza?

      If so you are holding two conflicting policy positions.

      The Cooperative Party has a policy of mutualisation.

      The Labour Party has a key economic policy of nationalisation.

      It is self evidently not in the interests of the Labour Party to return Cooperative councillors and MPs who are against Labour Party policy.

      1. LABOUR has always been a party that nationalises. The BLAIR years don’t count as the party had been overtaken by TORY entryists. Corbyn has had the courage to recreate LABOUR party in the interests of the people.

        We must kick out the Co-Op TORIES and replace them. They can go join the TORIES or LIB DEMS if they want.

        I’m sick of this, we need to be RADICAL to smash the existing order . I can’t wait for government, it can’t come soon enough.

  4. Some perhaps show an iignorance of their history; I joined Labour in the 1970s and then it was always the Labour Party, Trade Unions, and the Coop Party. I am a member of all three plus Momentum & CLPD. When some of the Right in Labour came up with the ruse of becoming just Coop MPs in Parliament (trying to ditch a hundred years of history because they couldn’t beat Corbyn) the Left and others in the Coop Party rallied to prevent this. My Coop Party branch is pretty Left Wing but some are perhaps taking an homogenous view of the Cooperative Party and need to think more critically whilst reading up on their history.

    1. The reasons the agreement was entered into no longer exist, Bazza.

      You are clinging to the past.

      The 13 million people who voted Labour were voting for the Labour Party manifesto.

      Indeed, the current arrangement whereby Cooperative candidates stand under the Labour banner is a deception of the electorate, who are unaware the Cooperative Party is in fact running on a completely different manifesto.

      Surely you don’t think it is right that Cooperative candidates should deceive voters in this way?

      1. Let’s drop the co-op TORIES. How can we make this happen?

  5. Nah you should join the Cooperative Party too (there are some good ideals in there) and move it to the Left!
    Next you’ll be asking us to withdraw from trade unions, perhaps the most organised collective voice in the UK for working people.
    Jeremy Corbyn has I understand addressed both at their conferences and as far as I know is also a member of both and perhaps as an old socialist used to say: “Read! Read! Read!”

  6. On reflection; millions of people have got together in coops around the World to stave off poverty. A transformed left wing democratic socialist UK society under JC could involve some democratic public ownership, some cooperative ownership, and yes a private sector but Foucault was correct about language being powerful.
    “Nationalisation” implies being top down and distant from communities, the same bosses in control, and staff and communities having no say. So “Democratic public ownership” (the opposite of the above) should be part of our language for 21st Century Socialism; words are powerful and perhaps variety will be socialism’s spice of life! Solidarity!

    1. Bazza, you aren’t addressing any of the issues raised.

      I can only deduce from that failure that you concede every point I have made.

    2. Bazza this is not an attack on you but a debate on the concept and reasoning as to why there is the need for a party within a party as is .
      As I said there are good MPs and people in The Co-op however , they need to now make a choice as there are vocal and vested interest that are at play within the Co-op vis some very damaging leaks /comments from various Co-Op MPs —- you know who they are .
      Yes indeed the Co-op could well be moved by it’s membership leftwards but a simpler and more unifying way forward would be for the Co-op party to adopt completely the Labour polices and values especially around Nationalisation. Do you really think that under Corbyn that the old way of running a nationalised entity would follow the autocratic “Top Down ” mentality of old , just look at how JC is democratising the party from bottom up —– proof in actions seem to indicate otherwise .
      Re asking to withdraw from TUC nobody I know of here has suggested that and in fact I wholly agree with the role of TU in our parties, what I am trying to comprehend is what if any reason there is now for a party within a party , that is at odds with the mainstream policies of the major organisation , put away the swords and shields come together unify and fight the real enemy the neoliberals/neocons
      Solidarity indeed .

  7. As socialists you are ruling out policy tools and just imagine with imagination instead of nursing homes being run to make a profit out of the care of older people they could be run by cooperatives where staff work for each other and have a say whilst offering an excellent service to older citizens and sharing the rewards. The greatest victory of Neo-Liberalism was to stop the Left from dreaming; time to start dreaming again.

    1. I don’t think you realise the implications of what you are suggesting.

      You are describing the atomisation of the state.

      That is exactly the same argument being made by the Conservative Party.

      You have made your position quite clear and it is very convincing. It has convinced me that terminating the electoral agreement between the Labour Party and Cooperative Party should be actioned as matter of great urgency.

  8. Bazza are you not a socialist then ?
    How would these Co-operative care homes be paid for ?
    Not a problem if they were under state control ( part of the NHS ) but with private co-operatives running them then there is a whole host of issues around funding,accountability ,transparency , uniform predicable levels of care and quality.
    This in fact illustrates the very issue with the values of the CO-op party and those of Labour and it’s stance on Nationalisation .
    Corbyns party is well able to dream , take a look at the dream ticket of the Manifesto , and this will be even better for the next election , I am sure you ‘d agree ?
    BTW if you want blue sky dreaming then go along to a Momentum meeting , better still try the next ” World Transformed event ” unless you already have ,,, there are some tremendous ideas coming out of those events .

  9. If, Kahn is thinking of taking her on, then he needs to think again!
    It does appear that he has totally rejected the idea!

  10. To transform the UK we perhaps need state-led public investment (which will also feed the private sector supply chain). We will also need more democratic public ownership of: banks, mail, rail, water, public utilities, with staff and communities having a say oh and I would like free public transport too, to benefit working people and the environment.. We also need to look at land ownership and/or land taxation. We could have state funded adult social care but everything doesn’t have to be directly publicly owned and cooperatives could provide an alternative model at the local scale, closer to people. We also perhaps need dynamic business which seeks and acts on feedback from staff and the community and draws from research for more informed decision making and critical thinking and business is often “peoples’ dreams.” What would perhaps help this process is occasional windfall taxes on big business, a 1% financial transaction tax (not the piddling 0.1% Robin Hood Tax) ideally globally agreed, ending offshore banking ($10tr globally) and ending tax evasion by the rich (£110b in the UK), cutting massively corporate welfare (£93b in the UK) – the Upper Class Welfare State. And working in cooperation where possible with other countries, and our peaceful and democratic model could be an example to other countries. Oh and a global living wage would also help too. Peaceful and democratic change for the many and based on ideas.

    1. The Cooperative Party and its 10,000 members are very welcome to suggest policy ideas to the Labour Party and it’s 600,000 members.

      But we don’t need an electoral agreement to facilitate that process.

      I think the agreement should be terminated. You have made no points to convince me otherwise. The agreement contains a 12 month notice period, it is time for the Labour Party to serve that notice on the Cooperative Party.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: