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.
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.”
Was this Tory recruitment letter “parliamentary activity”? Or an abuse of Barwell’s position as an MP? You decide…
- Parliamentary watchdog investigates Barwell’s begging letter
- Desperately devious: Barwell appeals to women of Addiscombe
Coming to Croydon
- The Lives of Stanley Halls community entertainment: Dec 4
- Riot from Wrong screening: Dec 5
- Crystal Palace Overground Festival meeting: Dec 5
- CP Mums’ Winter Wonderland: Dec 6
- Cinema Ruskin: Dec 21
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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