Categories
Ealing Southall By-election

Not another defection

Apparently Ian Dale was a bit previous about Cllr Noori. According to Tom Watson, MP, Labour’s parlimentary lead on this campaign, she has said:

I joined the Labour Party to serve my community. That remains the case….. I have not resigned my membership and will not be joining the Conservatives.

Tomorrow I will be leading campaigning for Labour’s victory on July 19th. I hope to see you on the campaign trail too!

Oh well.

Categories
Ealing Southall By-election

Another defection

Zahida NooriIan Dale is reporting that Cllr Zahida Noori has joined the rest of her colleagues in Southall Broadway and come over to the Tories.

At yesterday’s group meeting we accepted the original five into the Conservative group, they had already been accepted as members of the party by the national party.

There is some video of all of yesterday’s fun and games on Webcameron below:

The original story was covered in both the Guardian (yesterday in theory) and Telegraph this morning. The Telegraph had a prominent story on page 2 with a photo. The Guardian story certainly was not prominent on their website – I didn’t bother to buy the actual paper, I haven’t since I was in my twenties. I suspect the Guardian story was written up yesterday but did not make it into the paper.

Categories
Ealing Southall By-election

Evening Standard covers Ealing defections

This story was covered with 8 column inches on page 2 of tonight’s Evening Standard. The online version is longer and includes pictures of this morning’s fun and games on the Town Hall steps.

On page 12 Andrew Gilligan comments on the Ealing Southall campaign and says: “… it’s the Tories who have taken the initiative.”

After a one-liner on the World at One the Radio 4 PM programme covered the story in detail too, even featuring an interview with Manjit Singh. The online version of the BBC story is here. The BBC’s headline downplays the news by failing to identify the parties in its headline: “Five Southall councillors defect”. When a Conservative MP defected to Labour recently the BBC headline was: “Conservative MP defects to Labour “. So much for impartiality then.

Categories
Ealing Southall By-election

Labour’s black Monday – one third of Southall’s Labour councillors defect

Ian Dale is reporting that 5 out of the 15 Labour councillors in Southall have defected to the Conservatives.

The Southall five

They are, in alphabetical order, Cllr Jagdish Gupta, Cllr Jarnail Singh Jandu, Cllr Maninder Kaur Keith, Cllr Gurcharan Singh and Cllr Manjit Singh. It looks as if Gurcharan Singh, who was at one time reckoned to be the leading male contender to be the Labour candidate in the Ealing Southall by-election, has managed to persuade his two colleagues in Lady Margaret ward and two in neighbouring Southall Broadway to go with him as he exited the party in high dudgeon.

This is their statement:

It has become increasingly obvious as this by-election campaign has progressed, that the Conservative candidate Tony Lit is the best person to represent Ealing Southall as our next MP. He’s energetic, dynamic and displays the kind of qualities that would make him ideally suited to represent the people of Ealing Southall. We wanted to provide him with our backing and joining the Conservative Party sends the clearest possible message.

Locally since Conservatives took control of Ealing Council in May 2006 we have noticed that they have been making great strides towards trying to improve the quality of life for all our residents. We’ve finally reached the stage where it has become blatantly obvious that we would be doing own voters a great disservice if we continue to dogmatically stick with a disorganised and divided Labour Party. Our goal is to see genuine improvements for our residents. We believe that the Conservative Party now provides our community with greater opportunities and is genuinely interested in improving services for all.

At a national level we are extremely impressed by David Cameron’s modern Conservatives and, with the changes that he has now made, we feel that the Conservative Party now best represents our views. In a sense we believe the
Conservatives have become our natural home and we are very excited about the opportunity to play a full part in a Party which we believe is destined to form the next government.

We are due to have a Conservative Group meeting tonight so it will no doubt be an interesting evening.

Categories
Ealing Southall By-election

Lit on a roll

Sam Coates, writing in today’s Times, reckons that Tony Lit is the man to beat in Ealing Southall. Both the LibDems and Labour have selected grey men. The only thing that can get in the way of Lit’s momentum is the short, three week campaign. With week one gone and two weeks to go there is everything to play for.

Categories
Ealing Southall By-election

Pickled Politics blog reckons Labour imploding in Southall

The Pickled Politics blog covers politics, often with an Asian angle. In a posting today they reckon that Labour will select Cllr Virendra Sharma tonight and that things will not go well for Labour in Southall. They reckon that:

It is now almost a given that Cllr Virendra Sharma will be the Labour party candidate running for the Ealing Southall seat. This is a huge shame because, as one party member told me earlier this morning, they have traded one old and out-of-touch fogey for another.

They also endorsed Tony Lit, saying:

The only one who has brand recognition is Tony Lit.

It appears that yesterday Labour’s NEC chose 2 candidates to go before local members tonight, Sharma plus Jo Sidhu. Other prominent Labout councillors such Sonika Nirwal and Gurcharan Singh did not make the cut. Apparently Sidhu is an Oxford-educated barrister. Great.

Categories
Ealing Southall By-election

Telegraph’s Kite reading ConHome

I suspect that the Telegraph’s Deputy Political Editor, Melissa Kite, has been reading my ConHome piece. In her article today she says:

In Ealing Southall in particular, the Tories are expected to improve their position vastly, with some Conservative insiders predicting that their candidate Tony Lit, a popular Asian radio station boss who only joined the party last week, could even win in the seat, which has a 11,440 Labour majority.

Categories
Ealing Southall By-election

Tony might just make it

I met Tony Lit on Friday and was impressed with the Conservative candidate for the Ealing Southall by-election. See piece I did for ConservativeHome yesterday.

Categories
Ealing Southall By-election

Tories quick off the mark in Ealing Southall

Cameron and Lit in SouthallWhilst I was chasing antisocial students in Ealing yesterday David Cameron came to Southall to introduce people to the Tory candidate for the Ealing Southall by-election, Tony Lit. Lit is the boss of Sunrise Radio and son of the controversial Avtar who stood here in 2001. The visit was covered in Ealing Times and Ian Dale’s blog. The picture is nicked from Ian – don’t know where he got it!

The first I heard about the selection was on ConservativeHome yesterday. From the comments on the blogs he is clearly a controversial and high risk choice. I look forward to meeting him.

See the Webcameron video here.