[from Islington Tribune]
Hoodies shun TV MP’s estate rerun
SHE was back on the Andover estate this week, but this time former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe could not find a single hoodie to browbeat.
But she did meet a man with a beard, Islington North Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, who turned the tables on the MP, telling her she had “exaggerated” problems on the estate.
Ms Widdecombe had difficulty finding residents to talk to her when she made a return visit to the Holloway estate for an ITV documentary on Monday night.
Labour councillor Lisa Spall and her mother Marion had put Ms Widdecombe up in their home on the estate during filming for the first documentary in January this year. But they were absent from the latest instalment, Widdecombe versus the Hoodies Part 2, no doubt because, as the MP explained, their home had been firebombed following the last programme.
In the first instalment, Ms Widdecombe played bingo in the community centre with a welcoming group of mainly elderly residents who talked about the troubles on the estate and why they feared to go out at night. This time the centre was out of bounds. She was not even allowed inside.
One resident, Joan, who had complained in January about vandals targeting her home, now had an iron grille fitted to her front door. Ms Widdecombe declared triumphantly: “If we’ve done nothing else we’ve produced some iron bars.”
Mr Corbyn suggested that, while Ms Widdecombe had rightly highlighted youth crime and anti-social behaviour, she had exaggerated problems on the estate. He added: “A lot of money is being spent on the Andover and a lot of good work is being done here, which should be recognised.”
Islington Council is spending £30 million on improving the estate, which will ultimately become a gated community. Lib Dem deputy council leader Terry Stacy said: “All these improvements were happening anyway and were nothing to do with Ms Widdecombe. She merely concentrated on the negative.”