MEDIA: What the Papers say; Breathing new life into Westminster scandal

When a closely written independent report accuses a prominent London council of having re-housed homeless families in an asbestos- contaminated apartment block, for the purposes of undermining a left- leaning tenants’ association, and moving Labour voters out of marginal wards, it is hardly surprising that head-line writers begin looking for soundbites and simpler headlines.

When a closely written independent report accuses a prominent London

council of having re-housed homeless families in an asbestos-

contaminated apartment block, for the purposes of undermining a left-

leaning tenants’ association, and moving Labour voters out of marginal

wards, it is hardly surprising that head-line writers begin looking for

soundbites and simpler headlines.



This is what happened to Westminster Council, in the wake of the Barrett

report into the workings of its housing committee, which accused the

council of ‘improper objectives’ and acting for ‘political advantage’.

Battle raged for the political spin to simplify a story of byzantine

complexity. Frank Dobson claimed children’s lives had been put at risk,

and that the councillors involved were unfit for public office.

Elsewhere a police investigation was demanded. Dame Shirley Porter was

effectively the only spokesperson for the defence, arguing that the

report exonerated her.



Evaluation and analysis by Carma International. Cuttings supplied by

Standard Press Analysts. What the Papers Say can also be found at:

http://www.carma.com/carma.



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