Political editor WALTER CRONXITE reports on the latest, and late, entry to the Croydon General Election campaign
After much dither and delay, and some serious second thoughts among local Tories, the Conservatives have finally got round to announcing the name of their candidate for Croydon North in the December 12 General Election.
And after issuing a campaign photograph (which appears to have been taken in Gavin Barwell’s favourite Nando’s) at the weekend, Donald Ekekhomen promptly went out and campaigned for the Tories on Remembrance Sunday.
Who says these people have no class?
Not for the first time recently among the borough’s Lab-Con political duopoly (like Skipper and Edwards in last week’s Fairfield council by-election), Ekekhomen owes his role as a political candidate not because he is the choice of their party’s members, but to a stitch-up taken in a back-room.
In this case, he has been imposed on the local party from a short-list of four by a decision taken by Conservative central HQ. All entirely possible under Conservative rules, and all very undemocratic.
Ekekhomen was named as the candidate for the very safe Labour constituency only at the weekend, seven to 10 days later than most Croydon candidates were determined by the major parties. It is suggested by our mole in the lawn outside Croydon Tories’ Purley HQ that local leadership figures Tim Pollard, Mario Creatura and Ian Parker held off on any announcement last week because of the mounting controversy engulfing their operation caused by their increasing involvement in Fairfield with the cult-like SPAC Nation church, which is currently under scrutiny by at least four major investigations from three public bodies, including the Serious Fraud Office.
Ekekhomen may not be a member of SPAC Nation, though he has made no secret of his support for their “bling-loving” leader Tobi Adegboyega, in the midst of a very unholy set of revelations about the money-grubbing church’s involvement in multiple alleged frauds and the abuse of vulnerable young people.
Not that Ekekhomen is going to be anyone’s MP any time soon.
“We’ve got to put someone up in Croydon North,” one local Tory told Inside Croydon. “Not that we will be putting any resources into fighting the election in Thornton Heath or Norbury – if any of the SPAC Nation congregation bother turning out during the General Election campaign, they are going to be delivering leaflets for not-so-super Mario in Croydon Central.”
Such are the realities of our parliamentary democracy in a safe seat under the first-past-the-post system.
Croydon North is the parliamentary constituency held by Labour’s Steve Reed OBE since 2012, who at the 2017 General Election increased his majority to nearly 33,000.
So for Ekekhomen – who was pictured with Tory top brass, and Creatura, at this year’s Conservative Party Conference – his nomination as a candidate is reward for his faithful service to his party.
A resident of Warham Road in the south of the borough, Ekekhomen was a Tory candidate in Waddon ward in last year’s council elections, where he is remembered for being polite, courteous and having an interesting taste in flat caps, but not much else. Ekekhomen polled the fewest number of votes of the three Tory candidates in the only ward in Croydon South that votes Labour.
A pharmacist by profession, he may want to seek some professional advice from Creatura about managing his social media presence.
Ekekhomen has two separate live Twitter accounts, one in which he describes himself as “entrepreneur who is keen and passionate about people”, and which is followed by a grand total of 141 people, and another in which he says he is “Conservative, pharmacist, Christian, politically keen on positive community action. Crystal Palace fan. Views my own”, views which he shares with all of 197 followers.
This latter account had been pretty much dormant since September 2018, while the other Twitter account, @EkekhomenDonald, which he set up in October last year, was what Ekekhomen used to announce his “selection”.
Yesterday, he used the Twitter account to show a selfie of his campaigning on Remembrance Sunday, together with other Tories including, visible in the background, Neil “Father Jack” Garratt, the Conservatives’ candidate for Croydon and Sutton in next year’s London Assembly election. Between the six men in the photograph, there was not a single poppy to be seen.
While a political candidate’s social media activity may not be the be-all and end-all of their politics, ill-advised tweets and Facebook messages have brought some political careers to an abrupt end, and for someone such as Ekekhomen, who rarely expresses any views, his “likes” and retweets might offer the electorate some insight into the candidate’s thinking.
Ekekhomen has failed to make any condemnatory remarks regarding SPAC Nation’s dubious, cult-like activities.
But he has, repeatedly, gone to the trouble of “liking” or retweeting some of SPAC’s social media messages, including one last week in which Adegboyega lied by stating that his church was not subject to any investigation. “We stand above… all reproach” the self-proclaimed “pastor” tweeted.
Ekekhomen RT’d this, even though SPAC Nation has been subject to investigations and reviews by the Serious Fraud Office and the Charity Commission since February this year, facts which Rolls-Royce driving Adegboyega will have known when he posted his tweet.
Ekekhomen’s ill-judged support for SPAC Nation could provide some much-needed interest come the otherwise likely staid Croydon North election hustings. Labour candidate Reed is his party’s shadow spokesperson on child protection at Westminster.
For more on this story: Don’t call us cult-like, says cult-like SPAC Nation
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