Tories whine as local businesses sip wine with Labour

Croydon’s Labour Party went on a charm offensive yesterday, spending the afternoon meeting local small businesses over wine and canapés, fronted by the shadow London minister Sadiq Khan – a likely 2016 London Mayoral candidate – and Steve Reed OBE, the MP for Croydon North, at Selhurst Park.

The meeting prompted local Tories to whine in complaint.

Labour does the business-like thing: Steve Reed OBE, the Croydon North MP, left, addresses the Federation of Small Business audience watched by Tooting MP Sadiq Khan

Labour does the business-like thing: Steve Reed OBE, the Croydon North MP, standing left, addresses the Federation of Small Business audience watched by Tooting MP Sadiq Khan

The four-hour session was organised in conjunction with the local Federation of Small Business branch.

Croydon Conservatives, who have had control of the Town Hall for eight years, are understood to have complained to the influential FSB about the event being held.

“I thought Labour have done what the Conservatives are not doing and listening to people at the coal face,” said one of the attendees, Nigel Greenhalgh, of Surrey and Sussex property developer Village Developments.

“I was very impressed with Sadiq Khan. I was very impressed with Steve Reed. I was particularly impressed with Lord Mitchell, who was an entrepreneur and small businessman – they listened to the 60 or so people who were here.

“The Conservatives had better listen or they’re going to lose,” he said.

The effusive response of Greenhalgh and other FSB members wasn’t down just to the post meeting hospitality.

Jeremy Frost, the local FSB chairman, who works in the insolvency business, one of Croydon’s few growth areas in recent years, said that he felt that the event was “a brilliant idea” (he may have had something to do with it) and that his “members enjoyed themselves”.

Frost said, “It’s disappointing that some of the other parties locally have not done this.”


Coming to Croydon


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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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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2 Responses to Tories whine as local businesses sip wine with Labour

  1. David Aston says:

    Why are the Labour Party suddenly listening to the views of private enterprise? They certainly don’t promote it and never have done. Obsessive about all those horrible millionaires (1% of the population) who need to be taxed to the hilt to solve our economic problems. Strange isn’t it that a lot of such people actually run small businesses.

    Oh well let’s not forget the leaders of Trade Unions (buddies of the Labour Party) like Derek Simpson (Unite), Dave Prentis (Unison), Bob Crow (RMT) and Matt Wrack (Fire Brigade) all of whom earn in excess of £100k per year. Give these individuals a few years and they will become themselves the evil millionaires that the Labour Party wish to blame and eradicate. Can’t see any of them wanting to run a small business in Croydon.

    It is , as usual, political hypocrisy, and the Labour Party are full it.

  2. So the champagne socialist are enjoying wine these days. I thought the labour party was for poor working class people who can’t afford a bottle of wine.

    Us plebs on benefits certainly can’t enjoy a glass of wine ( I have only two children so it’s alright to claim benefits)

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