It was often accused of being the source of an inordinate amount of hot air and noxious gas, so it is perhaps in some way fitting that now, less than three months after Gavin Barwell was kicked out of Parliament by the voters of Croydon Central, his constituency office is being turned into a vape shop.
Some might see this development as a metaphor for the career of Barwell, who in a puff of smoke after his election defeat re-appeared in Downing Street as the Chief of Staff to the interim Prime Minister.
It is certainly a bit of a come down for Croydon’s Tories.
For more than seven years, the shop premises on Wickham Road in Shirley served as the nerve-centre of most of the local Conservatives’ campaigning in local and other elections, with career politician Barwell pulling the strings, usually for his own personal advantage.
With five full-time employees, including at various times the Tory councillors Jason Cummings, Eddy Aram, Sara Bashford and Mario Creatura, all paid for out of your taxes, three of those staff were based in the constituency office.
It was from there that gaffe-prone Gav was able to pump out huge amounts of leaflets, emails and letters, much of which will have gone straight to land-fill, although some of the nonsense may have polluted Croydon for some time to come.
And now the premises are continuing as a vape shop.
The neighbourhood is clearly on the up.
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