Political editor WALTER CRONXITE on the latest straw in the wind that indicates the Tories are planning a snap General Election
Conservative councillor Gareth “Blubber” Streeter demonstrated his commitment to the people living in his ward in Shirley North again last night, when he sought selection as his party’s parliamentary candidate for… Carshalton and Wallington.
Blubber’s desperation to follow his father, Sir Gary Streeter, into the House of Commons sees him pursue almost any glimmer of a candidacy. Given how well connected Streeter Junior must be within the Tory Party, his somewhat misfiring political career is surely a testament to his charisma and talent.
Streeter’s profile on the Croydon Conservatives’ website claims that he “first moved into the Shirley area” in 1999, though hard facts to back up such a claim of long-term devotion to the area are harder to come by.
In 2014, so committed was Streeter to Shirley that he sought election to Croydon Council in… Ashburton. Until Streeter came along, Ashburton had been a Tory-held ward. After Streeter was involved, it was Tory no more, and Blubber was seen in tears on election night.
Undaunted by that set-back, “Gareth B Streeter” (we’ll leave you to guess what the “B” stands for, but we think it is Blubber) next sought public office by standing for parliament in 2015 in Rother Valley, which is also not in Shirley. It’s in Yorkshire, where Streeter even rented some digs while pretending to be dedicated to that community.
For all the good it did him: in a seat held by Labour’s Kevin Barron, Streeter couldn’t even manage to finish second, as UKIP’s candidate proved more popular than the Tory political opportunist.
In fact, to date, the only time Streeter has managed to be elected to public office was last May, after former Croydon Tories leader Mike Fisher was (politically) stabbed in the back, and Blubber handed the place on the ballot paper for the safe Tory ward.
Last night, the Conservative Party members in Carshalton and Wallington opted to swerve Streeter’s own particular brand of political skills, and instead they opted for a real local candidate.
The staging of this parliamentary selection meeting was the latest evidence that the Tories are gearing up for a post-Brexit snap election called by the Prime Minister, Theresa Mayhem. Some have suggested the most likely date could be June 6, the anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings. Yep, when Britain went into Europe.
Putting himself forward as one of the advance Tory troops is Elliot Colburn.
Colburn was born at St Helier, went to Carshalton Boys school, lives in Wallington, and last year was elected as a Sutton councillor in Cheam ward. Colburn, who says he is “passionate about LGBT issues and my hometown”, works in the NHS.
He certainly represents a departure from the Tory choice of candidate in Carshalton and Wallington at the last two General Elections, Matthew Maxwell Scott, the heir presumptive to the inherited baronetcy of Constable Maxwell-Scott of Haggerston.
Having twice tried and failed to unseat Carshalton and Wallington Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake – in 2017 by a mere 1,369 votes – Maxwell Scott, a former Wandsworth councillor, opted not to seek selection again.
Blubber Streeter might do well to consider his example.
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