Rail baron defends £100,000-a-year union boss' living in council flat
Rail baron Mick Lynch defends £100,000-a-year union boss’ right to live in a council flat despite thousands of needy locals being stuck on waiting list for houses
- RMT deputy leader Eddie Dempsey lives in taxpayer-subsidised council house
- Challenged about his home, he claimed social housing ‘should be option for all’
- Mick Lynch said ‘When he’s ready to move I assume he will move’ in response
RMT boss Mick Lynch defended his deputy Eddie Dempsey this morning after it emerged he lived in a council flat despite receiving a six figure sum in salary and contributions.
Mr Dempsey is paid £78,282 yearly as well as Employers’ NI contributions £9,978 and pension contributions of £20,289.
But despite this he lives in subsidised social housing in London, with some neighbours suggesting he should move and let poorer people have his property.
This morning Mr Lynch defended him and said he had taken the property when he was a lower wage railway worker.
Speaking as he and Mr Dempsey manned a 24 hour strike at Euston Station he hit back at critics.
Lynch told LBC: ‘He’s not in receipt of a six-figure salary. He gets well-paid for his job.
‘He got his council flat when he was on the register when he was a railway worker. He and his partner live there with his children and they have the tenancy like all council tenants do. When he’s ready to move I assume he will move.
Mick Lynch and Eddie Dempsey join the picket line at Euston as more than 40,000 rail workers stage 24 hour strike after talks failed to resolve a dispute over pay, jobs, and conditions
Critics, including Dempsey’s own neighbours, branded him a ‘hypocrite’ for blocking more needy people having a home of their own. Pictured: the baron’s central London council flat
Lynch defended his colleague over the council flat to Nick Ferrari on LBC this morning
‘It’s not a question of when you earn a few more bob you get evicted from your council flat
‘He’s been in his job he’s got since October last year when he got elected to office, before that he was a railway worker. And he received his council flat by waiting on the list like all council tenants. What do you want him to do, be evicted because he’s got a new job?
‘It’s his tenancy and he pays the rent, I’m not aware he’s on any subsidiary from anyone. What we need are more council houses. I don’t believe he should be evicted because he’s got a new job.’
Islington Council in London has England’s 13th longest social housing waiting list, with 14,000 households in need of accommodation.
Critics, including Mr Dempsey’s own neighbours, branded him a ‘hypocrite’ for blocking more needy people from having a home of their own.
David Wheeler, 85, who also lives in the smart new-build block of flats in central London, said: ‘It’s enormous hypocrisy. If I was earning money like him, I’d want my own house.’
Rail union baron Eddie Dempsey poses with pro-Putin warlord Alexander Mozgovoy in Russia
He likened the situation to that of Bob Crow, the former RMT chief, who refused to leave his council house in 2013 despite earning £145,000.
He added: ‘He [Bob Crow] lived in a council house and he said he was a true blue socialist. To me he wasn’t – he was a hypocrite.’
A neighbour said their rent was £1,000 a month for a two-bedroom property with a balcony similar to Mr Dempsey’s flat. They said the rent includes the cost of heating.
By comparison, a private two-bedroom flat nearby was listed for £3,000 a month yesterday. When asked why Mr Dempsey hadn’t considered moving out, an RMT spokesman said: ‘He wants to live in London, which has been his home since he first started working on the railways… Eddie thinks publicly owned accommodation, should be an option for all.’
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘He can afford to buy his own property, but he chooses to block someone from having access to council housing who needs it. The RMT are a bunch of hypocrites and they’re also Mr Putin’s useful idiots.’
In 2015, after Vladimir Putin’s first invasion of Ukraine, Mr Dempsey visited the Donbas region.
He posed for pictures with warlord Aleksey Mozgovoy, a commander in the ‘Ghost Brigade’ of pro-Russian separatists branded a ‘terrorist organisation’ by Ukraine’s Supreme Court.
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