O’Connell squeezed as Greens and LibDems go tactical

London election graphicWith two days to go until the London elections, and “Silent Steve” O’Connell, the London Assembly Member for Sutton and Croydon, has found himself in a double squeeze which could see him kicked off the City Hall gravy train where the senior Tory has managed to trouser more than £500,000 of public cash for doing very little over the past eight years.

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At the previous London elections in 2012, O’Connell lost the popular vote in Croydon, the first time ever that Labour had out-polled the Conservatives in this borough.

But voters in LibDem-controlled Sutton helped him hang on to a 10,000 vote majority and his annual allowances.

So imagine Silent Steve’s dismay today when a senior Liberal Democrat wrote an appeal for his party’s supporters to back Labour’s Sadiq Khan for London Mayor and reject the “nasty, desperate and dog-whistling campaign” of O’Connell’s colleague, Zac Goldsmith.

It is eight days now since Marina Ahmad, O’Connell’s Labour rival for Croydon and Sutton, invited the Croydon Tory to reject the divisive and racist campaigning which had accompanied multi-millionaire Goldsmith’s efforts to become London Mayor.

Since when, there’s been silence from O’Connell.

And with Green Party Mayoral candidate Sian Berry today recommending her supporters to make good use of their second preference votes by voting for Khan, O’Connell’s hopes of having another cosy four years at City Hall under a Tory Mayor are beginning to look ever more remote.

With the LibDems retaining some polling strength in Sutton, the letter to The Independent from senior London Liberal James Fearnley could do the most damage to O’Connell’s prospects there.

Campaigning: James Fearnley on the stump for the LibDems in 2015

Campaigning: James Fearnley on the stump for the LibDems in Croydon in 2015

Fearnley stood for the LibDems as the parliamentary candidate in Croydon Central at last year’s General Election. He had been highly regarded within his party in London, having worked closely with Simon Hughes when he was MP in Bermondsey.

But today, Fearnley expressed his disgust with Goldsmith’s campaign and directed LibDem voters to vote Labour on Thursday.

“At this election only Sadiq Khan is capable of putting into practice the values that LibDems care about,” Fearnley wrote.

“Sadiq represents the kind of grown up, progressive politics that LibDems believe in and that’s why I intend to campaign for Sadiq and I urge all LibDem voters to back him.

“It is especially important that we stop Zac Goldsmith. He has run a nasty, desperate and dog-whistling campaign that is simply not acceptable in the modern world.”

A sentiment which Silent Steve O’Connell has found impossible to support.

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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2016 London elections, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Marina Ahmad, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Sian Berry, Steve O'Connell, Zac Goldsmith MP and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to O’Connell squeezed as Greens and LibDems go tactical

  1. Simon Hall says:

    Have you noticed the  Re-elect O’Connell leaflet that has no mention of anything that falls in the remit of a GLA member?   https://twitter.com/CroydonTories/status/727513588710150144 Mysteriously it doesn’t mention his failure to deliver trams and he fails to take credit for the cuts in police numbers and police stations (especially the five just announced).  

  2. derekthrower says:

    Wooooooooooo Steve O’Connell turned up for a meeting at the GLA in a taxi and no one got out. The Spectre of Oversight and a Shadow of Presence our Steve moves in mysterious ways. Wooooooooooooooooooooo.

  3. The 2012 GLA election was not “the first time ever that Labour out-polled the Conservatives” [in Croydon]. That was achieved in the general elections in 1997 and 2001, and probably also in the election to the European Parliament in 1994 (when Croydon was then part of the London South & Surrey East constituency).

  4. derekthrower says:

    Woooooooooooo when an article refers solely to the GLA election it is commonly accepted that the statistical details will refer to GLA elections and not be conflated with National and European elections that may hold different boundaries and electorates. Wooooooooooooo Mr Looney.

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