BRAVE face of the week award goes to… Chris Philp. The loyal Conservative dropped in for a sip of wine at the recent Christmas drinks at the Camden Tory HQ in South End Green. Yet after an unforgettable year when you’ve come within just 42 votes of a life-changing election victory and a place in Parliament, do you really want to end it by listening to somebody who had better fortune at the polls, gone one step further and did everything you had wanted to do?
Chris was among the guests listening to Mike Freer recount the wonders of his own election win not a million miles away in Finchley and Golders Green (Thatcher’s old seat, almost won previously by Camden councillor Andrew Mennear). I’m told Mike’s enthusiasm for his new life as MP was unmistakable. He is loving the job. You’d have to be a man of steel to come so close to beating Glenda and not listen to this wonderful world without wondering what could have been. More than 42 people have told Chris since Glenda’s Houdini trick that for one reason or not they didn’t get to the polling station on May 6, despite intending to vote for him. He has so many reasons to feel sick over what happened on that dramatic day/night/morning.
But hey, I wouldn’t bet against Chris returning to make a similar speech one day himself. His near miss in Hampstead and Kilburn, I gather, has been noted at central office and while he might not be able to claim first dibs should their be a safe seat by-election, his name is up there near the front of the queue. It may just be a case of patience.