CHRIS ‘Knighty’ Knight is set to turn his Churchillian V for Victory sign into a wave goodbye to the Town Hall. The Hampstead councillor – one of the most photographed politicians you’ll find in the local papers – is not seeking re-election in his ward at next May’s council elections.
“To me it’s a seven day job,” he says, “and with that there is a risk that you neglect the things that are important in your own life because you’re always worrying about other people’s problems. Hampstead is one of the busiest wards in Camden for casework and I’ve thrown myself into it. I’ve fallen in love with the place and the folks up here have been tremendous, but I’ll have done eight years of duty the council at the next election and there are important things in my own life that I need to take care of too. Whoever takes it on is taking a tiger by the tail.”
In the bubble of local politics, Chris has a big rivalry with Liberal Democrat Linda Chung in the split ward. The contest between the two would have been one of the little sub-stories of the boroughwide vote next year. He will growl at you if you suggest that Linda has finally seen him off.
But he adds: “It’s sad and I’ll have huge withdrawal symptoms but I don’t want to become a lifer, a Galapagos tortoise on the council who goes on and on and whose whole life is just the council.”
His Conservative party colleague Laura Trott is also due to end her spell on Camden Council next May.