Croydon questions: Steve O’Connell, Conservatives

Vote for Steve O'Connell, the Conservative candidate for Sutton and Croydon?

Steve O’Connell has been the Conservative Assembly Member for Sutton and Croydon since 2008. The former mortgage salesman is now a full-time politician, according to the Daily Mail “Britain’s best-paid councillor”, collecting £115,000 in 2011 in publicly funded allowances from City Hall and Croydon Town Hall, where the Kenley ward representative is a cabinet member of the controlling Tory group.

O’Connell also has various other jobs and responsibilities within the Conservative party.

We have circulated all the Sutton and Croydon candidates for election to the London Assembly on May 3, with the intention of publishing their responses in full, unedited, and without the artifice, interruptions and grandstanding of the usual hustings. All candidates have responded positively, with one, notable, unaccountable exception.

Steve O’Connell, Conservatives

Can you tell us a little about yourself, your background, where you grew up and went to school and university, your work and family?

Despite being given three opportunities to reply, O’Connell declined to answer this question.

Steve O'Connell: £115,000 a year, but refused to share his views with the people of Croydon

How did you become so involved in politics?

Steve O’Connell declined to answer this question.

What are your interests outside politics?

Steve O’Connell had no answer to this question.

Who would you describe as the biggest influences on your life and your political outlook?

Steve O’Connell declined to answer this question.

What is your favourite part of Croydon?

Steve O’Connell was unable to answer this question.

How would you categorise the differences between Sutton and Croydon?

Steve O’Connell had no answer for this question.

What are you proudest achievements?

Steve O’Connell preferred not to share with the people of Croydon what he considers to be his achievements. If there are any.

What have you achieved for Croydon and Sutton on the Assembly these last four years?

Steve O’Connell refused to respond to this. See the response to the previous question.

This Tweet was posted by O'Connell at the time of a vital Croydon cabinet meeting about the incinerator. It seems to indicate that he regarded his football tickets as more important than the health and well-being of the people of Croydon and Sutton

Why did you vote in favour of a waste incinerator on Beddington Lane?

Steve O’Connell refused to respond to this. Perhaps he did not have a reason?

Click here for a recent interview by O’Connell, where he denies that he skipped attending a vital cabinet meeting about the incinerator to go and collect tickets for a football match. You may agree with us that he comes over as utterly unconvincing in the audio interview.

What expert evidence do you have to prove that such incinerators are safe?

Steve O’Connell refused to respond to this. Maybe he has not seen any evidence.

There have been more Tube strikes in less than four years under Boris Johnson as Mayor than in the previous eight years. Johnson has met bankers more than 30 times since 2008. He has never met with the rail unions

What do you feel that Boris Johnson has achieved for Croydon?

Steve O’Connell refused to respond to this. Perhaps he cannot think of anything that Boris has done for Croydon?

Rents seem to go ever upwards. What would be your solution to London’s housing problems?

Steve O’Connell declined to put forward any ideas on how to solve London’s housing problems.

What lessons should Croydon learn from the 8/8 riots?

Steve O’Connell refused to answer this question.

What did you do on Sunday, August 7, and Monday, August 8, 2011, to work towards trying to avoid rioting in Croydon?

Steve O’Connell had nothing to contribute on this question, much as reports of his inaction last August suggests was the case at the time of Croydon’s greatest peace-time emergency. O’Connell was a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority at that time.

What have Conservative Assembly members achieved on the London Assembly in the last four years, separately from the Mayor?

Steve O’Connell’s answer? Nothing.

Are police numbers in London now lower than they were in the middle of Mayor Johnson’s mayoralty?

Steve O’Connell failed to answer this question. The answer seems to be: Yes.

St Helier or Croydon University Hospital? Which one would you prefer to see keeping its A&E department in the context of the review of the NHS in South West London?

Steve O’Connell refused to respond to this.

Boris Johnson wants more oversight over London’s education. Is that a good idea?

Steve O’Connell had no answer for this question.

What will you do if re-elected to help young Londoners get work?

Steve O’Connell was left stumped by this question, too.

You were described by the Daily Mail as the highest paid Councillor in the country. Was that accurate?

Steve O’Connell pleaded the Fifth on this one. It would seem that for once, the Daily Mail was spot on. We have also found that O’Connell likes to accept gifts.

You are the Conservative Party’s Parliamentary spokesperson in Sutton. Would you like to run for Parliament in the future? Did you state upon your selection as a Conservative London Assembly candidate that you had no further desire to run for Parliament?

Steve O’Connell refused to respond to this. The strong suggestion from within the local Croydon Conservatives is “Yes” to the first part of the question, and “Yes” to the second part.

How will you use your second preference in the Mayoral election?

Steve O’Connell was unable to answer this question, either. We’re beginning to wonder whether marking a X in a box might be beyond him, too.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Boris Johnson, Business, Commuting, Crime, Croydon 8/8, Education, Environment, Health, Housing, Kenley, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Mayday Hospital, Mayor of London, Policing, Schools, Steve O'Connell, Transport, Waste incinerator and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Croydon questions: Steve O’Connell, Conservatives

  1. Did you ask him what day of the week it was? Conservatives appear to struggle with this.

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