THE Labour group in Camden is still mulling over what to do about who gets to hang out in the mayor’s office next year. Deputy Mayor Abdul Quadir is likely to graduate into the main position. He’s been the deputy twice and enough members feel it would be cruel to choose someone else at this stage to ensure he crosses the line.
But who would be Abdul’s deputy? Labour councillors are actively discussing the idea of offering that role to somebody on the opposition benches. How generous. It’s a departure from the past. Labour has always hogged the non-political role and refused to share ceremonial badges.
There is a catch, however. If the offer is formally made and a Lib Dem or Conservative councillor is appointed as deputy mayor, they would not be offered the chance to follow the age-old tradition of moving up to becoming a full-on chain-wearing main Mayor the following year.
Not in Olympic year!
Instead, they will be asked to be grateful for what they’ve been offered, with the reminder from the Labour group: we don’t have to do this, you know?
The idea has been discussed, but some members think it’s not worth the trouble and would rather someone like Heather Johnson or Roger Robinson, both former Mayors, were simply appointed deputy and then took on the main role for 2012. The debate continues.