Tories welcome back far-right figures as 2022 candidates

Our Political Editor, WALTER CRONXITE, on the names in the frame to become new Tory councillors next May

Down With This Sort of Thing: the Tory campaign slogans might need a bit of work

Jason Perry, the leader of the Conservative opposition at Croydon Council, has handed the local politics equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket to nine local party activists, selected to stand as Tory candidates in safe wards in the south of the borough at next May’s local elections.

Another six, including at least a couple with connections to dodgy far-right organisations,  could also come up winners in the game of Town Hall Tombola if they manage to snatch control of three target wards from the labouring Labour administration that has controlled the council since 2014.

The likely wholesale changes on the blue seats in the Town Hall chamber comes after the exit this year of 11 of the 29 councillors they got elected in 2018.

Croydon Conservatives’ 70 candidates for the May 2022 local elections were all gathered together at the end of last week for an awkward-looking “team photo”, the rictus smiles of some perhaps a giveaway to how they rate the real prospects of being elected to public office.

The candidates, together with Croydon South MP Chris Philp, surrounded themselves with what appears to be decided as the Tories’ major campaign issues over the next eight months, such as “Cut the grass!”.

It’s a wonder that they didn’t  include “Down With This Sort Of Thing!” and “Careful Now!”

The selections have been made by Conservative members at ward level, with party branch meetings held on almost every evening through September to get the full roster done and the candidates installed – a stark contrast with Croydon’s bitterly divided Labour Party, where they are still sifting through which of their own councillors to blacklist.

Rictus smiles: The 70 Tory candidates for next May’s local elections. Has ‘Toxic’ Tony Pearson just farted?

There are a couple of eyebrow-raising “free transfers” among the Conservative councillors’  wards, with Badsha Quadir jumping from Purley and Woodcote to Selsdon Vale and Forestdale (so that he can be closer to the Indian restaurant business that he owns?), while Helen Redfern skips from Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown to Sanderstead.

In their desperation to win back a foothold in New Addington, the Tories appear to have kissed and made up with “Toxic” Tony Pearson, who just three years ago quit the party complaining that he’d been kicked off one of their social media platforms as a consequence of some of the right-wing tosh he has a habit of spouting.

‘Soft touch’: some of the anti-immigrant tosh spouted by Pearson when he was a Tory councillor

“With its current leadership, they cannot represent me nor I be part of them,” was the ham-fisted manner in which Pearson expressed himself about Croydon Conservatives in 2018.

After quitting the Tories (or failing to pay his subs, depending on whose version of events you believe), Pearson had a dalliance with the Diarrhoea and Vomiting Party, also known as the Democrats and Veterans Party, a far-right, Trump-esque splinter group with an unapologetic anti-Muslim stance. “We will fight to preserve our Judeo-Christian heritage,” the DVP said on its website.

Pearson, a Tory councillor from 2010 to 2014, has what is euphemistically described as a “colourful” track record. In 2011, when he was working as a steward at Crystal Palace football club, Pearson was accused of using abusive language and rough treatment on season ticket-holders in the Holmesdale End. He was also accused of snatching a fan’s mobile phone to prevent the incident being video’d.

Palace fans lodged a formal complaint to the Football Supporters’ Federation about Pearson’s conduct. It was not long after this that Pearson’s stewarding career came to a quiet end, though the two things may not be connected.

The Tories have also signed up another wannabe New Addington politico in Michael Castle. Castle has been a serial election candidate, usually as an independent and always in New Addington or its parliamentary constituency, Croydon Central.

As recently as May this year, Castle stood in the New Addington North council by-election as an independent, attracting a seemingly paltry 109 votes. The Tories probably consider that that was 109 votes in the former Fieldway ward that they didn’t get, and must hope that with Castle on a joint ticket with local residents’ association activist Lara Fish, they might run the sitting Labour councillors closer.

Another welcomed back into the fold, and handed one of those Willie Wonka Golden Tickets as a candidate in a safe Tory ward is Mark Johnson, who quit as the local Conservative federation chairman last year in a spat over campaign funding.

Johnson, a walking charisma-bypass, has twice tried, and failed, to get on to the council before, but this time he has been slotted in at Shirley North, which should be safe enough that even he can’t fuck it up.

In a joint statement issued by Perry and Lynne Hale, the current chairman of the Croydon Conservative Federation, they said, “We are proud to reveal our Conservative candidates ahead of the 2022 Council elections. Each of them has the energy and the commitment to turn our town around after years of dither and decay caused by Croydon’s failing Labour council.”

The local elections will take place on Thursday May 5.

Croydon Conservatives’ 2022 local election candidates

Winnable Tory target wards

Wards currently partly or wholly held by Labour and which are vulnerable to the Tories. If the Conservatives are successful here in May 2022, they will gain six council seats, taking the Town Hall to a 35-35 split

Addiscombe East
Cllr Jeet Bains
Kyle Knight

New Addington South
Lara Fish
Tony Pearson

Waddon
Donald Ekekhomen
Simon Fox
Sharmmi Jeganmogan

More of a stretch

Wards held by Labour which would need a swing of at least 12 per cent to turn blue. If the Conservatives win any of these in addition to all the ward seats above, then they will hold an outright majority at the Town Hall for the first time since 2014

Fairfield
Matthew Dormer
Steve Jacobs
Fatima Zaman

Norbury Park
Kofi Frimpong
Blake O’Donnell

Addiscombe West
Kosta Dexiades
Michael Norman
Michelle Kazi

New Addington North
Michael Castle
Adele Benson

Might as well forget about these

Croydon’s supposedly Labour stronghold wards, where Conservative candidates are rarely sighted and barely bother to even pretend they are serious candidates. But the names on the ballot papers help the local Tories bump up their representation figures for minority groups

Bensham Manor
Joyce Bright
John Newberry
Dev Parashar

Broad Green
Peter Anike
Queenie Chizea
James Rajadurai

Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood
Don Charles Lambert
Gemma Patient
Janet Wilkinson

Norbury and Pollards Hill
Tirena Gunter
Mike Mogul

Selhurst
Shakera Bowen
Charlotte Earl

South Norwood
Gayle Gander
Matt O’Flynn
Sunny Tanna

Thornton Heath
Folarin Bamgbopa
James Taylor
John Tipton

West Thornton
Tom Lott
Mayura Patel
Matin Talukdar

Woodside
Titilope Adeoye
Gavin Palmer
Des Wright

Safe Tory seats

These are the true-blue areas to the south of the borough where anyone selected as a candidate is guaranteed four years of at least £11,000 pa in council allowances. Unusually, nine new candidates have been handed the Town Hall equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket

Coulsdon Town
Cllr Mario Creatura
Cllr Ian Parker
Luke Shortland

Kenley
Cllr Ola Kolade
James Hillam

Old Coulsdon
Cllr Margaret Bird
Nikhil Thampil

Park Hill and Whitgift
Cllr Jade Appleton

Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown
Endri Llabuti
Alasdair Stewart

Purley and Woodcote
Cllr Simon Brew
Samir Dwesar
Holly Ramsey

Sanderstead
Cllr Lynne Hale
Cllr Yvette Hopley
Cllr Helen Redfern

Selsdon Vale and Forestdale
Cllr Andy Stranack
Cllr Badsha Quadir

Selsdon and Addington Village
Cllr Robert Ward
Joseph Lee

Shirley North
Cllr Sue Bennett
Cllr Richard Chatterjee
Mark Johnson

Shirley South
Cllr Jason Cummings
Cllr Scott Roche

South Croydon
Cllr Maria Gatland
Cllr Michael Neal
Cllr Jason Perry


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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 2022 council elections, Addiscombe East, Addiscombe West, Badsha Quadir, Croydon Council, Fairfield, Fieldway, Helen Redfern, Jason Perry, Lynne Hale, New Addington, New Addington North, Norbury Park, Purley, Selsdon Vale and Forestdale, Shirley, Tony Pearson, Waddon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tories welcome back far-right figures as 2022 candidates

  1. kpanguama says:

    This is a brilliant piece of work. It is spot on.

    The Tories are so desperate that they have to go as low and right wing as they can manage, such as Tony Pearson and Mark Johnson.

    It is alarming that the Tories can turn to such idiots for their salvations. The Tories must be so desperate. Adele Benson is a total waste of space. I wonder if the Tories knew that as little as few weeks she was a paid up member of the Labour Party and that she only got kicked out of Labour because of her vile right-wing rantings against the Labour black councillor?

    Some of these candidates could be good news for Labour. The people of Croydon are not Dumb or stupid and they will let the Tories know .

  2. David Simons says:

    I didn’t spot a CULTURE IN THE HANDS OF CROYDON or BUGGER OFF BOURNEMOUTH placard; looks like the jewel of Croydon culture is destined to be forgotten. We all know councillors read the pages of IC so its very disappointing that they seem to have decided the Fairfield Fiasco (millions of tax payers money wasted!) isn’t worthy of their campaign energy.

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