Tony Arbour, a Conservative Member of the London Assembly Member and councillor on Richmond Borough Council, has accused Mayor Livingstone and his press office of “making a libellous statement” about him.
A statement issued by the Mayor’s office earlier today condemned Mr Arbour “for saying at a Richmond Council meeting that social rented housing was, ‘housing for riff-raff’ when opposing plans for a scheme for more affordable homes in Richmond.”
The statement went on to describe the claimed comments “a direct insult to the hundreds of thousands of Londoners who live in social housing and make huge contributions to London.”
However Mr Arbour has strongly denied the claims and insists his words have been taken out of context telling MayorWatch: “what I said was: were Richmond Council, in not ensuring that there was provision for social housing in a particular development, taking the view that social housing was for riff raff?”
“In asking this I was suggesting that the Lib Dem-run council was saying this, not that social housing is for riff-raff – as the Mayor is claiming.”