Titbits – Discrete, chutes and leaves

Titbits bird

◆ As part of a so-far fruitless attempt to drag out of Hackney Council the names of the faith leaders it claims to have written to in the wake of violence breaking out in the Middle East last year, the Citizen put in a Freedom of Information request, which was rejected.

The paper challenged the response, and in came the reply: “I am the Interim Head of Information Management and was not involved in the handling of your initial request. I am therefore objective for the purposes of independent internal review.”

The man goes on: “I consider that publication of [faith leaders’] names would be contrary to the data protection principles laid down under UK data protection legislation, namely fairness, lawfulness, confidentiality and data minimisation.”

And the name of this mysterious council information wiz behind this standoff? That, too, was left out, despite a ‘Yours sincerely’ sign-off. Truly the man with no names!

◆ Rescue teams scouring the hills of Tenerife for teenager Jay Slater, who was still missing at time of writing, stumbled across another man who they say was lost and in need of help.

It turned out to be none other than David Larkin, who once sat on the board of the now-defunct Hackney Homes Ltd, a company that used to manage the borough’s council housing stock.

Larkin was none too pleased with the rescuers’ accounts, telling the Daily Record he wasn’t disoriented or dehydrated, but simply an experienced hiker out on a trek.

◆ On the subject of housing, the council recently sang the praises of its officers, who are “there to support everyone living in one of our homes”.

“Whatever your housing issue and needs, we are there for you and ready to help,” said the Town Hall on social media. This will certainly be news to the long-suffering residents of Pitcairn House!

◆ Bet-ter voting? The gambling scandal that has dominated the General Election build-up has come to neighbouring Islington, where the chair of local Labour was found hedging, canvassing for Jeremy Corbyn who is standing as an independent after being ejected from the party.

Alison McGarry reportedly hid behind shrubbery in a futile attempt to avoid being spotted by Labour activists.

Whatever next? Titbits is glad that similar antics such as councillors hiding behind bushes to avoid being seen by colleagues would be unthinkable in Hackney!

◆ Luke Akehurst, former Hackney councillor and now parliamentary candidate for North Durham, appears to be a fan of a flutter.

Labour has been criticised for parachuting Akehurst into the seat, particularly given his controversial support for Israel. He stands accused of antisemitism against non-Zionist Jews.

Following the eruption of the aforementioned betting scandal, one social media sleuth noted that Akehurst has often been fond of giving out political odds.

The person adds: “He’s accidentally blocked me so I can’t ask if he has ever backed his odds-making with a run at the bookies.”

◆ Another candidate quickly gathering in their parachute is Hackney North’s Tory hopeful David Landau.

Popular local Twitter account @IfYouTickleUs said their “admittedly unscientific poll” showed Stamford Hill voters were “decidely underwhelmed”.

It continues: “Responses include: […] ‘Condescending colonial-like attitude to locals’. Tory councillors I asked said nothing positive.”

The account goes on to accuse Landau of coming in from “genteel Hendon to give us some civilisation classes on pupil exclusion”, adding: “He can always take cover in Yesodey Hatorah.” Oof.