Mayor of London Boris Johnson faces fury from West Hendon estate protestors on visit to new council homes in Muswell Hill

'Go home': council housing campaigners stake out Boris visit

Protestors wore ironic 'thank you' hats as Boris Johnson arrived in Muswell Hill

Others chanted 'go home' as the mayor was taken to the Freehold Community Centre

Boris met the Mohamed family, among the first to move into the new homes

Boris spoke at the Freehold Community Centre

The protestors' cries could be heard in the Mohameds' garden

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Campaigners hounded Boris Johnson with chants of “go home” as he visited the first three council houses to be built in Barnet in 20 years.

Arriving in Alexandra Road, Muswell Hill, the Mayor of London was greeted by protestors from the West Hendon estate, who are angry about the lack of affordable housing.

Bundled by police towards the Freehold Community Centre, Mr Johnson looked flustered as they yelled “housing is a right, not a privilege”.

The mayor had been invited to visit the three new Barnet Homes houses - the first 26,000 of which are to be built in the next 16 years.

Addressing the crowds inside the centre - much to the dismay of protestors who were not invited in - he said: “Housing is the number one problem in London.

“Last year, we had the biggest baby boom since 1966. There is a demand for housing in what is now recognised as the number one city in the world.”

But as he was led outside, campaigners began chanting “Whose Mayor? Nightmare,” and “corruption, corruption, corruption”.

The West Hendon estate is due to be knocked down in the next six years and tenants fear they could be moved out of the borough altogether, as they are all on non-secure, weekly tenancies.

Many have lived in the borough for more than ten years - but they claim the nature of their contracts mean they live “unstable lives” as they could be moved out with just a week’s notice.

Jeanette Evans, who lives on the estate, said: “It’s pathetic - Boris should be ashamed of this scandalous situation, not celebrating it. It’s absolute nonsense.”

Another resident, Glynnis Walker, added: “They’re making such a huge deal over three poxy new houses when residents on the West Hendon estate face so much uncertainty. It’s a disgrace.”

Both wore hats bearing the words thank you - a sarcastic reference to the fact that the West Hendon residents feel they are not being given a fair deal.

Led by a policemen, Boris laughed and waved at the crowds as he headed over to meet the Mohamed family, who moved into their new home last month.

But chants of “thank you so much for coming” and “hands off our Barnet” could be heard in the garden as he spoke to the Times Series.

He said: “I didn’t expect such a good reception. They are thanking me - they have shown me a lot of gratitude. I am grateful. It shows we are doing a good thing here.

“Were they being sarcastic? I didn’t think so. I think people are telling me they are proud of the fact that these wonderful new homes are being built here.

“I don’t know if I can intervene on the situation in West Hendon, I can’t comment on that.”

Comments (2)

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9:28pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Neville Longbottom says...

Hooorah, 26 years. I might be dead by then.And don't those children have a school to go to?
Hooorah, 26 years. I might be dead by then.And don't those children have a school to go to? Neville Longbottom
  • Score: 2

10:19pm Thu 3 Apr 14

nlygo says...

26 years? maybe sooner ;)

I'd guess the children had special permission to be at home to meet the Mayor
26 years? maybe sooner ;) I'd guess the children had special permission to be at home to meet the Mayor nlygo
  • Score: -1

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