Barwell’s continuing appeal for candidates is cutting it fine

Gavin Barwell, the MP for the Whitgift Foundation, continues his one-man campaign to try to recruit people as Conservative party candidates in the local elections, now by trawling the good people of Shirley ward, where the Council Leader Mike Fisher is a councillor.

Do you want to be in my gang? Gaffe-prone Gav is recruiting for the Tories, again

Do you want to be in my gang? Gaffe-prone Gav is recruiting for the Tories, again

But Barwell’s recruitment drive is cutting things fine, with the Town Hall elections less than six months away next May.

In September, we reported how Barwell had distributed letters to female residents in Addiscombe ward (we have not heard from any men there who received the letters). But now we hear that gaffe-prone Gav has been busy sending out similar letters to residents in true-blue Shirley, asking them to come forward and do the decent thing.

Yes – Shirley ward, where florid-faced Fisher is one of three Conservative councillors.

Is Barwell actively seeking a replacement for Fisher, who was embarrassingly left off the short-list for the Tories’ recent Croydon South parliamentary selection? Or might one of the other two councillors in Shirley, Richard Chatterjee or Janet Marshall, be standing down?

The controversial letters have already got Sanderstead resident Barwell into a spot of bother, over possible abuse of the House of Commons portcullis symbol on his letter-heading for what is a barely disguised recruitment letter for the Tories.

As we reported last month, his Addiscombe letters have prompted an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Since becoming MP in 2010, Barwell has already managed to collect warnings from the Information Commissioner over his unauthorised use of the names and addresses of those who sign up to receive his constituency emails. He also had to send his election agent, Croydon councillor Ian Parker, along to the court to take a slap on the wrist from a judge over the failure to account properly for his election expenses.

This time, Barwell may be in breach of the House of Commons rules over the use of its headed paper, devices and logos. “The rules about its use are very strict, and limited to parliamentary activity,” a Commons official said. “It’s a royal emblem.”

The Barwell begging letter: has the MP made unauthorised use of parliamentary symbols to add importance to his Conservative party recruitment drive?

The Barwell begging letter: has the MP made unauthorised use of parliamentary symbols to add importance to his Conservative party recruitment drive?

Was this Tory recruitment letter “parliamentary activity”? Or an abuse of Barwell’s position as an MP? You decide…


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4 Responses to Barwell’s continuing appeal for candidates is cutting it fine

  1. I’d like to be the replacement candidate for Clare George-Hilley. If elected, I promise to make Eddy Arram look refined and charming.

  2. Have you really got nothing better to report? Gavin is the best MP Croydon has had in recent times and doing a damn good job for the people of our town. The letter is not simply a “recruitment exercise” as you claim, it is an appeal for people who ACTUALLY CARE about our community to come forward and consider representing their neighbours. It is not a requirement to support the Conservatives, just to come forward, be prepared to stand up for your beliefs and the community and make a difference….what’s wrong with that?

    • That’s #gaffeproneGav’s line. You can believe it if you wish. We don’t.

      Barwell is accused of abusing his position as an MP – and possibly using his state-funded MP’s offices and resources – to recruit for the Conservative party.

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