What Surrey council leader David Hodge said before PMQs texts row-NewsCO

February 8, 2017

The leader of Surrey Council says a planned 15% council tax rise was scaled down to 4.99% after “assurances” from the government, adding that the council was “working with the government on various issues”.

David Hodge was speaking to the BBC on Tuesday, before Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn read out what he said were Councillor Hodge’s leaked text messages on the subject during PMQs.

Asked what had been said to convince him not to press ahead with a 15% rise, he said: “Well sometimes it’s best to say nothing. Sometimes I can’t say too much. But I am a lot more confident now about the future.”

After the PMQs clash, Councillor Hodge and Downing Street both said despite Mr Corbyn’s allegations no “sweetheart deal” had been done to avoid the required referendum on the increase.

8 February 2017 | 5:01 pm

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