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Labour London Assembly member apologises after using inaccurate figure in report on Havering Council’s right to buy costs

PUBLISHED: 14:17 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:17 08 February 2019

Tom Copley AM. Picture: JAMES O JENKINS

Tom Copley AM. Picture: JAMES O JENKINS

Archant

A City Hall politician has admitted figures he used to compile a report on Havering Council’s spending on renting back former council homes bought under the right to buy scheme were inaccurate.

In today’s Recorder, and on our website earlier this morning, The Recorder published a story on Labour London Assembly member Tom Copley’s Right to Buy, Wrong for London, report.

It claimed that a Freedom of Information request had revealed the borough was spending £3,035,996 a year on renting back homes that had been purchased under the right to buy scheme.

When the Recorder approached Havering Council for comment on that sum, a spokesman said the council did not recognise the £3m figure, and that the borough’s actual spending was £252,999.70

On Thursday, February 8, after the original article’s publication, Tom Copley’s office contacted the Recorder to accept that the figure quoted in the Right to Buy, Wrong for London report was incorrect.

Mr Copley said: “I can clarify that an error was made on our part in calculating this cost, and by implication, the data given by Havering Council is correct.

“I would like to offer my apologies for this mistake.

“Despite this, I would like to reiterate that the premise of the report still stands that local authorities across London are paying tens of millions per year to rent back homes sold under the right to buy”.

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