Let me explain. Even before the official starting gun has sounded, blows are being traded ahead of the Camden Town and Primrose Hill by-election. The Liberal Democrats will up their attack this week on the way Labour has handled Councillor Tom Neumark’s resignation. Leader Keith Moffitt will accuse Labour of “trading on his reputation as being a nice guy” when in his last few months on the council he has been “virtually invisible”. They will note the timing of when left his job and moved out of his house as pointers to a man who knew he was probably outta here long before it was confirmed last week.
It is obviously advantageous for Labour to have the poll on the same day as the mayoral elections when their closest rivals in Camden Town, that’s the Lib Dems in this bench of the borough, risk being squeezed by wider distractions. But did they drag out Tom’s resignation to hit that date, leaving the ward under-represented while they did so?
Tom says he is pained by the accusations, hurt by the suggestion he hasn’t been pulling his weight on issues like Hawley Wharf’s redevelopment and the saving of Chalk Farm Library. And here comes the doughnut bit. When challenged about being invisible, he says it must have been an invisible man who gave Keith a ‘glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut’ at the Town Hall while he was at Judd Street chairing a meeting of the Noise Nuisance Scrutiny Panel last month.
“I am sure that Keith remembers the doughnut I gave him,” he says, irritated. “I gave them (doughnuts) to all the members of the panel and Keith was walking past so I gave him one as well. What’s happened to politics when buying people sugar sweets does not guarantee loyalty?”