Jeremy Corbyn sacked Labour ally Chris Williamson 'because he touched a nerve'

Clive Lewis returns to Labour frontbench

A LEADING Corbynista has been ousted from Labour's front bench after calling for council tax to be doubled on big homes.

But insiders are suggesting he was forced to go under pressure from John McDonnell, as the Shadow Chancellor wants to keep a tight grip on Labour's fiscal policies.

But he said it had a lot of support among Labour activists.

Brandon Lewis, the new Conservative chairman, attacked the appointment, claiming: "This reshuffle shows yet again that Labour will not just fail to confront abusive behaviour, but they will reward it".

But the proposal for a 100 per cent hike in council tax for Band H properties was net with derision yesterday. "This latest plan would see people's bills soar by 20% and add at least £320 a year to the average council tax bill", said Mr Raab.


The Labour leader hauled in Mr Williamson, the shadow fire service minister, this week after he spoke out beyond his remit to propose doubling council tax on high-value homes.

"You can imagine the Daily Mail and Daily Express would go to town on a proposition like this", he said. I think it's an argument that could be won.

"I've taken this decision to bring me closer to the membership of our party and to allow me to work on a broader range of issues, from environmental policy, to animal rights and local government", he said in a statement.

Formally, councils in England have to hold local referendums if they wish to increase council tax by over three per cent in a year, although combined with a precept for local authorities providing social care, it is possible that council tax bills could increase by up to 5.99 per cent without a public vote.

In Scotland, MSPs voted in 2016 to end a council tax freeze, with the first increases coming into effect in April past year.

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