Last week in the Business of the House session in Parliament, the MP for West Bromwich West asked a question about Sandwell Council. The response from Jacob Rees-Mogg was “We may need to set aside days of debate to discover all the failings and corruptions in socialist councils. They seem to come up at business questions again and again. It is important that Members hold local authorities to account,” The full question and answer is shown below and it can be obtained from here. However it seems vital for Councils in the UK to equally hold the Government to account for its own failings and corruptions. Indeed the need for Councils and the Government to be held to account irrespective of what party politics is involved. Indeed the fact that Rees-Mogg appears to be only interested in assessing socialist councils is deeply concerning given that all party political and indeed Independent Councils need to be held to account. He also went on to state that “The Government have been able to send commissioners …. to local authorities” and so perhaps the LGA can do the same for the Government given the terrible elements that are emerging from Johnson and some of his colleagues? Here is the question and answer that took place last Thursday
Shaun Bailey: This week, the Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced that he was minded to send commissioners into Labour-led Sandwell Council. We know about the corruption and malfeasance at the heart of the Labour administration in Sandwell, but can my right hon. Friend confirm that we will have the opportunity to have a debate in Government time on Sandwell Council at long last? Will he also confirm, responding on behalf of the Government, that should these commissioners find anything—whether that be instances of real financial corruption by previous leaders, councillors or even the former chief executive—these matters will be referred to the police and the Crown Prosecution Service?
Jacob Rees-Mogg: We may need to set aside days of debate to discover all the failings and corruptions in socialist councils. They seem to come up at business questions again and again. It is important that Members hold local authorities to account, and this is not the first time that my hon. Friend has raised suspicious dealings at Sandwell in this House at business questions. The Government have been able to send commissioners to improve the performance of serially failing local authorities—that is a vital tool—and it is right that they are held to account. Of course, if crimes have been committed, the police should be called and involved.