THE relentless gossip and intrigue surrounding Labour’s contest to find a successor to Glenda Jackson in Hampstead and Kilburn has taken the glare away from the Liberal Democrats, whose candidate for the seat went walkies just weeks after being selected for the campaign.Emily Frith’s speedily aborted run may be a fading memory now, but the party needs to find someone to start protecting the 16,491 votes scored by Ed Fordham last time out. The search for a new face is nearing an end, however, and the process is actually now on a similar timescale to Labour’s contest. A final decision from both parties will come a couple of days apart midway through next month.
Who will get the job for the Lib Dems? At least two potential candidates have websites up and are appealing for support. James King, the former Kilburn councillor, has thrown his hat into the ring. He says: “I believe that Liberal Democrats have the values, policies and commitment to provide solutions to the issues of the day and the challenges of the future. The Lib Dems in Hampstead and Kilburn have a great team of local councillors and campaigners, and a good story to tell about the work we do across the whole of the constituency.”
Another asking for a chance is David Buxton, who was up in the public gallery at Camden Council’s full council meeting on Monday night. A councillor in Surrey, his local newspaper says he’s the only deaf councillor in the country using a sign language interpreter in the country. His website says: “His motto: ‘build organic, not a machine’.” The BBC devoted a report to him at conference a few years back.
Labour’s Jack Ashley, who died last year, was the UK’s first deaf MP in Stoke-on-Trent.