…sounds like a national newspaper will be picking up Tom Foot’s story about the Surma Centre in Regent’s Park and its link with Samantha Cameron. The PM’s wife headed down there before the general election and made a film about how she loved the place. It’s now facing crippling cuts ordered by the council/government. What was interesting was that when Tom approached the Conservatives over this, they didn’t just reply with the stock: SamCam loves the Surma Centre and calls on the council to keep it open yada yada yada…
Tory HQ instead went on the offensive. Mrs Cameron’s spokesman counted up the money that has been paid to council leader Nasim Ali for his council work and suggested that might have been used to keep the lunch club and health groups running.
That Conservative statement in full:
It is extraordinary that Camden can’t find the money to keep this centre open. This is a decision taken by a Labour-run council that has spent more than £3million on publicity in 12 months, lavishes its chief executive with a £230,000 pay packet and is led by Councillor Nasim Ali, who has been able to claim the best part of £100,000 in perks over just four years.
Councillor Ali’s allowances since 2007 alone would keep the centre open for eight months. The closure appears to be nothing more than a cynical move by another Labour council determined to play politics with people’s lives. They should rethink their decision.
It will be interesting to see what take other newspapers adopt.