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‘Great news for Islington’ as town hall housing boss joins Sadiq Khan

PUBLISHED: 15:34 24 May 2016 | UPDATED: 15:41 24 May 2016

James Murray and Sadiq Khan in the Brunswick Estate, Clerkenwell, during the mayor's election campaign earlier this year. Picture: Islington Labour

James Murray and Sadiq Khan in the Brunswick Estate, Clerkenwell, during the mayor's election campaign earlier this year. Picture: Islington Labour

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Today’s appointment of an Islington councillor to London’s top housing job is “great news for the borough”.

James Murray, right, pictured in December at the opening of new affordable homes in Parkhurst Road, Holloway. He was joined by Cllr Watts and new residents Kelly Stevens and Betty Daniel. Picture: Steve BainbridgeJames Murray, right, pictured in December at the opening of new affordable homes in Parkhurst Road, Holloway. He was joined by Cllr Watts and new residents Kelly Stevens and Betty Daniel. Picture: Steve Bainbridge

That’s the view of Islington leader Richard Watts, after new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan chose Cllr James Murray as City Hall’s Deputy Mayor for Housing.

Barnsbury Cllr Murray has served as Islington’s housing leader since 2010, and will now step down from the council.

Property developers are said to have lobbied against the appointment based on his record of blocking schemes without high levels of affordable housing.

But Cllr Watts said this afternoon: “London has someone supporting the mayor that knows first-hand how to tackle the housing crisis facing London.

“James has been a crucial member of the council executive, spearheading much of the pioneering work this Labour administration has undertaken to build the most council homes in a generation.

“He has also been key in taking on rogue landlords, making sure local people have priority for new housing, and driving forward improvements to council housing.

“James’ appointment is also great news for Islington. Not only is it a ringing endorsement of the housing policies the council has pursued, but it will mean that we will have someone on the side of working people in Islington.”

An Islington Council spokesman said Cllr Murray’s replacement as executive housing leader - and a by-election date for his Barnsbury seat - is to be confirmed.


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