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Ealing elections 2010

Three jobs Nigel

I don’t think that “Three jobs Nigel” is a phrase that will catch on not having any rhyme or alliteration. It is still worth asking though what is LibDem candidate for Ealing Southall, Nigel Bakhai, playing at?

It is not unusual for councillors who are standing as parliamentary candidates to stand for both their own wards where they currently sit and Parliament. For instance in Ealing Jon Ball (Central Ealing and Acton, LibDem), Bassam Mahfouz (Central Ealing and Acton, Labour) and Gurcharan Singh (Ealing Southall, Conservative) are all doubling up. The Tory candidate for Ealing North, Ian Gibb, is not standing again as a councillor – it’s double or quits for him.

It also seems understandable if you don’t have a seat and want to be a councillor and at the same time represent your party for a hopeless constituency – for instance the Greens’ Christopher Warleigh-Lack is standing in Elthorne as a councillor and standing for Ealing North. Similarly Sarah Edwards for the Greens is standing in Walpole ward and Ealing Central and Acton.

But, Nigel Bakhai is standing three times over. He is the LibDem candidate for Ealing Southall and was bigging up the LibDems’ poll results only yesterday in the Gazette. He is not making quite so much fuss about the fact that he is standing as a councillor in Elthorne ward where he lives but also in the Hillingdon ward of Botwell. How much work can he be doing in Hillingdon? None I suspect. He is either taking the Mickey out of people in Botwell or Ealing, or both.

7 replies on “Three jobs Nigel”

It must be the sun or the sight of jet vapour trails in the sky again, but I find myself agreeing with you here. Even the practice of standing for both a Parliamentary seat and one Council seat I find unacceptable.

Suppose Sarah Edwards of the Greens won the Parliamantary seat and the Council seat she would I imagine stand down as a Councillor. Just how fair would that be to those who voted for her as a Councillor or indeed for those who stood against her as a Councillor candidate?

Unfortunately Virendra Sharma has set a worrying local precedent by failing to attend council and ward forum meetings after his election to Parliament for Ealing Southall. This didn`t prevent him from enjoying an expences paid trip to exotic Mauritius from 22nd-29th July 2009 even though its difficult to imagine any benefits accruing to Ealing Southall constituency or Norwood Green ward!

In the case of an existing councillor deciding to stand to be the MP it should be conditional on the candidate agreeing to stand down (triggering a by-election if necessary) if they succeed. Not quite sure how this could work with elections happening on the same day though.

Representing the same ward in both the council and westminster leads surely lays them open to a conflict of interest if there is ever any difference between local & national policy (which I’m sure there often are).

I take it Mr Sharma isn’t standing in the locals this time? Shame as I was hoping he’d go back to being a councillor so we could have an MP again – at least one that knows where ealing & northfields are.

Does he get two lots of expenses? Or three lots of expenses? Can he get three taxi receipts for the same journey?

If Sarah Edwards, or indeed any candidate, is fortunate enough to be elected both as Councillor and as MP, then I agree that there is an issue to be addressed – but it’s not one of fairness, Mr Leach. Election nominations are fair and open – any voter can see for whom they are voting, and if he or she is standing elsewhere. All Ealing Green Party election material for Walpole ward has been explicit about Sarah’s nomination for both ward and Council. And if she’s elected both to Westminster and the Council, then as Chair of Ealing Green Partyy I would very much hope her council seat would be taken by another of our candidates in a bye-election.

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