Still no apology from Prime Minister David Cameron for salary ‘lie’

Friday, 8th July 2011

MP EMILY THORNBERRY has hit out at Prime Minister David Cameron for failing to apologise over a gaffe in which he got his facts wrong over the salary of the Town Hall’s top civil servant.

Mr Cameron admitted in a letter to Ms Thornberry, the MP for Islington South, that he was wrong when he attacked the council during a speech in April, saying: “What about Labour-run Islington, which is slashing frontline jobs and children’s services, but hasn’t put a finger on the chief executive’s salary of £220,000?”

Ms Thornberry wrote to Mr Cameron pointing out that the Town Hall’s new chief executive, Lesley Seary, will have her salary cut by £50,000 and, demanding an apology, pointed out that no children’s centres have been closed. This week, the Prime Minister replied, acknowledging his mistake but failing to apologise.

“I am pleased that the Prime Minister has finally acknowledged that he lied to the public when he claimed Islington Council were leaving the chief executive’s salary untouched at the expense of local services,” she said. “It goes to show that just because the Tories went to Eton and think they were born to rule, it doesn’t mean they are any good at it.”

Catherine West, the leader of Islington Council, added: “Cameron’s arrogant and rushed response shows that he is divorced from the impact of Conservative-Liberal Democrat cuts are having on the lives of low-income families in Islington.”

Ms Thornberry’s Parliamentary colleague Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, also rounded on Mr Cameron.

“David Cameron took over two months to reply and erroneously claims that Islington Council has only [had its finances cut] by 8.78 per cent. 

“He goes on to claim, falsely, that education and health spending have been preserved and only in the last line acknowledges that Islington Council is spending much less money on the chief executive’s salary. 

“I wish Cameron would ‘get it’ about the real effects of local government, education and health spending restrictions and explain why Islington has had the biggest cuts of any borough in London.”

Published: 8th July, 2011

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