Despite Sir Keir’s bold talk of “backing the builders, not the blockers“, it turns out his own MPs’ NIMBY instincts are often too powerful to resist once a single brick threatens to enter their patch. Take Labour Whip Taiwo Owatemi just today, for example. This morning she released this statement upon the shocking news that 345 homes are set to be built in her constituency:
“Losing any part of Coundon Wedge is unacceptable and flies in the face of what those of us who live in the neighbourhood want and need. This green space is more than a blank on the map of Coventry for developers to fill in at will: Coundon Wedge is a vital green lung for the health and well-being of thousands of Coventry residents who need to be heard…”
Here are a few pictures of that “vital green lung”…
There are currently around 13,000 Coventry households on a waiting list for a home. God forbid a few sheep have to be relocated.
A Tory source tells Guido:
“Will Keir Starmer sack Taiwo Owatemi for being a blocker not a builder? Or is he too weak to stand up to his own front bench team? You can’t trust a word Labour say on housing.”
Owatemi even laments how the government “will force Coventry to build 35% more homes than necessary simply to meet arbitrary targets”. How’s that for “backing the builders”…
Read Owatemi’s full (long) statement below:
Back when it was Suella Braverman’s turn as the Lobby’s weekly plaything, virtually every Labour MP joined in the fun of calling for her sacking. Among the chorus of voices was Taiwo Owatemi, who had this to say when Braverman admitted sending six work emails to a personal phone last month:
“How can Suella Braverman be trusted with our national security when she leaks confidential documents & doesn’t take most basic security measures.
She is unfit to be Home Secretary. It’s time for the Prime Minister to put national security ahead of Conservative party politics.”
All well and good… except Owatemi herself left a parliamentary laptop – with sensitive information and data on it – with an ex-staffer for nearly a year in 2021. When the staffer left her team early in the spring, no one bothered to collect the computer until December. What was that about “basic security measures”?
When asked about this obvious security oversight, Owatemi’s office blamed the pandemic, claiming:
“… with staff working remotely during the pandemic and a churn of staff in the office it took a while to get staff to return laptops via a courier; and they were not particularly quick in returning them to us once having left the office.”
Guido’s sure her constituents will be happy with that answer…
Guido can reveal a Labour MP has admitted to actively selling drugs – and doing so since her election in 2019. Taiwo Owatemi quietly let slip the announcement earlier this week, revealing she’s been operating primarily in the Kestrel Way area of Welwyn Garden City.
Guido’s sure she’s a valued team member at the Tesco Pharmacy…