HC Crest

It is perhaps a symptom of the Labour Party’s woes nationally that two of the London councils it leads felt unable to join others in condemning plans for the Silvertown Tunnel in a letter to the city’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan.

Despite publicly opposing the £1 billion tunnel, which many fear will worsen pollution and increase traffic at a time when London should be doing the opposite, Greenwich council leader Danny Thorpe refused to sign the letter drafted by Hackney’s transport chief Cllr Jon Burke asking Khan to suspend the project to allow more time for scrutiny.

Thorpe said he was worried about the letter being leaked to the press after being burnt before, but it’s difficult to conclude that the refusal was based on anything other than loyalty to Khan, who supports the project.

It is a criticism often levelled at Labour that toeing the line set by the party hierarchy trumps all else, and nowhere is this more evident than with Silvertown, a project almost universally resisted by local councils and the public.

Maybe the real question is why Sadiq Khan, who has done a commendable job in improving pollution in the city during his time in office, is not reflecting this near unanimous opposition to the tunnel, and is instead giving it his full backing?

If he’s not representing the opponents, it begs the question: whose wishes is he reflecting?

Support us

The coronavirus outbreak meant that the Hackney Citizen was unable to print a monthly newspaper for three months.

We're grateful that we have since been able to resume printing. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our readers, whose donations kept the paper from disappearing completely at a distressing time for residents.

A huge thank you to everyone who gave their time and money to support us through the lockdown, and to those who continue to do so as we slowly recover from the dramatic fall in advertising revenues, on top of the existing challenges threatening the future of local journalism.

A one-off donation or a regular contribution from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the newspaper in print and the website running in the coming months and years.

Find out how you can donate.

Thank you for your support, and stay safe.

The Hackney Citizen team