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  • "What very odd people the Tories who comment on this story are. The story is not about Andrew Dismore's expenses. It is about Hugh Rayners behaviour. It is a sign of the desperation of them that they drag out dead stories, smears and insults, with a good degree of poetic license involved.

    You all should be ashamed of yourself. For the record I told Andrew Dismore in 2008 that although he was a very good politician, the locals were less than impressed with his attitude to expenses. I told him that as far as I was concerned, it could cost him his seat. He lost by 105. I told Brian Coleman that his behaviour would cost him his many, highly paid non jobs. He chose to ignore the advice and is now at home unemployed.

    In the fullness of time, Hugh Rayner is likely to go the same way. I would remind these Tories that the dirt they are throwing at Mr Dismore is linked to things that happened around the time Rayners fellow councillor Tom Davey was posting vile things on Facebook.

    The main difference between Dismore and the rest is that he was and still is a great worker for local people. His replacement has been useless. At the GLA he works his socks off and I believe him to be chastened by his experience in 2010. I therefore think he will be an excellent MP when re-elected next year, Until I see some honest comments from our Tory friends here, I will simply treat them with the contempt they deserve"
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POLL: Should Barnet Mayor Hugh Rayner resign?

POLL: Should Barnet Mayor Hugh Rayner resign?

Cllr Hugh Rayner

Cllr Hugh Rayner

First published in News
Last updated
Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

This week, Barnet’s Mayor Hugh Rayner came under fire for the “unfair” way he has treated tenants living in the properties he owns.

Yesterday, Mayor of London Boris Johnson openly admitted Cllr Rayner’s behaviour has been “prima facie illegal” at the London Assembly’s Question Time.

Cllr Rayner, a Hale councillor, owns 15 properties in the Colindale area with his wife, Susan, and four more under his firm’s name – S&H Housing Limited.

So the Times Series is asking its readers: do you think he should carry on as Mayor?

GLA member for Barnet Andrew Dismore has made the following allegations against Cllr Rayner:

• He is not part of the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme, which Barnet Borough Council "urges" all landlords to be a part of

• He drafted 12-month contracts which permit rent increases by any amount during any time of year – and in one case, a mother was slapped with a three per cent hike without warning

• Turning up to a tenant’s house unannounced at 10pm at night, “pressuring” her to sign a new lease without reading it

• Using tenant’s children as translators

• Fellow Conservative Councillor John Hart was asked to pre-sign a lease without the tenant being present – something which is illegal

• Overcharging residents on housing benefit “to the detriment of the public purse”

When quizzed by the Times Series, Cllr Rayner told us:

• He “didn’t think it was necessary” to join the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme but that he would look into it

• He has since removed the clause about raising the rent

• He no longer asks witnesses to pre-sign contracts and only did this to save time

• The tenant could have asked him to “come back at a better time” if it was inconvenient and she wasn't pressured

• Children are only used as translators if their parents agree

• He no longer asks witnesses to pre-sign contracts as he appreciates it’s incorrect practice

• Rent has always been in line with the prevailing local housing allowance rates

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