ENTER The Boffmeister, as some local Tories proudly call him. Andrew Boff, a Conservative London Assembly member, is frustrated by the criticism of Camden Conservative leader Andrew Mennear’s backing of the idea that the council can help housing benefit cap strugglers priced out of the borough by finding them cheaper rents in Birmingham and Leicester.
The difference between the parties locally here is that Labour insist they really, really don’t want to do it but have been beaten into a corner by government policy. The Conservatives in return say they are practical enough to see that needs must and the reality is that there is a “life outside of London”.
As Labour guns rounded on Councillor Mennear for his support for a measure they themselves may soon implement, Mr Boff found himself in one of those things that have become known as ‘Twitter rows’ with Labour’s Tom Copley. As things grew heated online, he pulled out a familiar document. The Labour Party general election manifesto of 2010 reads: “Housing Benefit will be reformed to ensure that we do not subsidise people to live in the private sector on rents that other ordinary working families could not afford.”