Labour election campaign gets third organiser in six months

Is being the assistant to Sarah Jones, Labour’s candidate in Croydon Central at the General Election, more insecure as a job than being manager at Crystal Palace Football Club?

Whatever happened to him? James May (no... not that one)

Whatever happened to him? James May (no… not that one)

Croydon Labour is now on to its third campaign assistant since May, which even by the revolving door standards established at Selhurst Park in the past year, seems to be a fairly high turnover.

And, much like the Eagles boss, not even being ostensibly successful appears to provide any guarantee of job security.

First, there was James May (not to be confused with the Argentinian-baiting mate of Jeremy Clarkson off Top Gear), who was Labour’s borough organiser right up until just after the local elections in which the Tories lost control of the Town Hall.

Barely had Tony Newman got comfortable in his new office and started to count the thousands of extra quid he’s getting in “allowances” as the council leader, than May was gone.

It was all quite sudden. Inside Croydon didn’t even get an invite to the farewell piss-up. Perhaps there wasn’t one. It is as if May has been “disappeared”. No one mentions his name in Ruskin House any longer. A bit like no one in the Holmesdale End mentions Tony Pulis any longer.

Bounding in to replace him came a somewhat Tigger-like character called Tom Dewey. Loud, he always seemed TO TALK IN CAPITAL LETTERS. But he replied to email enquiries, he oversaw the opening of Jones’s campaign headquarters, and he had a hand in the re-zoning campaign, which wants to make it cheaper to travel into central London for commuters from East Croydon and West Croydon. Though not from South Croydon.

Dewey has not been seen since the office Christmas party. Oh dear. A bit like Colin Wanker (for non-football fans struggling to follow that reference, think anagrams and the previous manager at Crystal Palace).

What could have happened?

“Tom was on a probation period and his contract wasn’t renewed,” we have been told.

“He was employed directly by the Labour Party, and the local party had no say in the matter. We now have James Goldstone as organiser.”

Will he last until election day on May 7? You have to wonder.

Sarah Jones: to lose one campaign organiser is unfortunate. To lose two might be seen as careless...

Sarah Jones: to lose one campaign organiser is unfortunate. To lose two might be seen as careless…

Given how much store Newman and the Labour group on the council has placed in “continuity” since taking over at the Town Hall – to the point of continuing with many of the same policies and using the same council executives that have been in place for the last eight years – it seems strange that with Jones ahead in the opinion polls, her backroom staff has been changed so frequently.

And anyone local to Croydon, and particularly Selhurst Park, will realise that “Goldstone”, with its historic Brighton and Hove Albion connotations, is hardly a well-regarded name in these parts.

In the meantime, Jones’s election rival, MP Gavin Barwell, continues to rely on agent Ian Parker and his state-funded parliamentary assistant, Mario Creatura, to oversee his campaign.

Sarah Jones did not respond to Inside Croydon’s call. Perhaps her phone was on silent.


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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
This entry was posted in 2015 General Election, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell, Sarah Jones MP, Tony Newman and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Labour election campaign gets third organiser in six months

  1. Peter Rogers says:

    All publicity is good publicity as they say and as this is the first I’ve heard of our Labour candidate in some time I guess they’re all backslapping each other at stealing today’s headlines. Bit worrying that in an election year she’s been less visible than Tricky Dicky in a crisis.

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