Into the pot. From the local government section of ConservativeHome.
"Cllr Liam Smith, Labour Leader of Barking & Dagenham council, was granted an "emergency" tenancy of a two bedroom council property six weeks after breaking up with his wife. This despite earning £45,000 a year and many two bedroom properties being available at rents well within his budget in the Borough he leads.
There are two things which stand out here. The speed with which Cllr Smith was granted his tenancy and the moral question - as put by Victoria Hollins on BBC London News Tonight - of why somebody on £45,000 a year needs "emergency" housing from the state.
The first question is simple. Did Cllr Smith secure this tenancy because he was able to exploit his position at Barking & Dagenham Council? There is certainly no question that couples with children living in one bedroom flats on Barking & Dagenham's waiting list will be asking themselves why Cllr Smith was such an urgent case, when for less than a third of his £2,400 a month take-home pay he can rent privately in the Borough. Rightmove has 10 pages of 2 bedroom flats and houses to rent in the Borough between £750 and £950 a month, all of which he could move in to in a week. Yet he applied for a tenancy of a Council property at a below-market rent and secured this in six weeks, when most people applying to the Council for housing are told they may not secure a tenancy in their lifetime.