A Conservative MP is calling for the London Borough of Havering to be classed as an Essex region, causing uproar among residents.
Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, said the term East London is “meaningless” and “doesn’t exist as a recognisable boundary”.
His comments sparked debate online with social media divided over his words.
His team also called Wikipedia “very inaccurate” for labelling Havering as a London area and added: “We are not ‘East London’, that is a made-up phrase that has no validity”.
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Havering became a London borough in the 1960s, but some residents still think of it as belonging to the neighbouring county of Essex.
Mr Rosindell told My London: “To say that Havering in East London is meaningless.
“East London doesn’t exist as a recognisable boundary – whether for administrative, ceremonial or historic purposes.
“Instead, east of our capital is a series of towns, boroughs and, as far out as Havering, even villages and countryside.”
The MP, who also chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Historic Counties, added: “Havering is instead a town and country borough in the historic county of Essex.
“That means we have close and important links to London, while also recognising that our identity is based around being a collection of towns and villages (Hornchurch, Romford, Upminster, Rainham, Havering-atte-Bower) surrounded by beautiful Essex countryside.”
His comments on the subject generated hundreds of replies, and not all of them were complimentary.
“Andrew, mate, do us a favour and bore off,” said one.
Another added: “What a load of b******s”.
One person thought there were better topics to discuss and wrote: “I cannot understand why this is necessary? So many other things worth fighting for.”
Another simply put: “London Borough of’ not County Council”.
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Some said Essex was in the past and commented: “Was Andrew. Was.
“The market is diminished. New housing overcrowded. Green spaces having to be fought for against greedy developers and dodgy planners. However, the people of Havering are wonderful.”
However, the MP did have some support and one person said: “Upminster Romford will always be Essex.
“Hate it being a London borough,” which garnered a few likes.
The Collier Row and Havering-Atte-Bower Conservative Action Team also rallied to his defence and responded to images posted showing the outline of London on a map.
“Havering is under ‘Greater London’ for regional government purposes and ‘Havering’ for local government, there is no ‘East London’ elected government authority,” a spokesperson for the group said.
“The actual geographical and historical place where we are, which is quite separate from local government administrative boundaries is… Romford, Essex, England. I’m proud of being from that part of the country and our identity cannot be redefined by inaccurate descriptions written by someone on Wikipedia!”