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Sadiq Khan names James Murray as capital’s new housing chief

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London mayor Sadiq Khan has appointed affordable-housing campaigner and Mount Pleasant redevelopment opponent James Murray as his new deputy mayor for housing

Murray, who is lead member for housing and development at Islington Council, succeeds Ed Lister, who served in the role under Boris Johnson.

Murray will be tasked with delivering Khan’s mayoral election pledges of delivering 50,000 new homes a year in the capital, making half of all new-build homes built ‘truly affordable’ and creating a new ‘homes for Londoners team’ at city hall, to help deliver homes for rent at one-third of average local wages.

In 2011, Murray made Islington the first local authority to reject the government’s plan to raise ‘affordable’ rents, and launched a major building programme of homes for social rent instead.

Two years ago Murray spearheaded Islington and Camden Councils’ opposition to Boris Johnson’s intervention in the determination of the Royal Mail’s proposals to redevelop part of the Mount Pleasant sorting-office site in central London.

Both councils had wanted to refuse permission for the scheme – designed by Allies and Morrison, Wilkinson Eyre, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and AHMM – on the grounds that its proposed 24 per cent affordable housing level was too low.

Khan said Murray had a ‘strong track record of success’ in delivering innovative housing solutions.

‘Housing is a top priority and I want all Londoners to be able to buy or rent a decent, affordable home,’ he said.

‘I know he will be a huge asset to the team as we work towards building the thousands of affordable housing London needs.’

Khan also announced the appointment of Val Shawcross as deputy mayor for transport and Andrew Adonis as chair of the Crossrail 2 Board.

City Hall said Adonis’s appointment would be in parallel to his role as chair of the government’s National Infrastructure Commission.

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