Sarah H: Who says I want a seat?

Hayward 10COUNCIL leader Sarah Hayward’s ravenous Twitter feed – is she the heaviest Twitter user among London’s local authority leaders – continues to keep these pages busy. This afternoon, her earnest congratulations to the borough’s hard-working A-Level students (lots of whom no doubt follow her account) was met, a little out of the blue, with that familiar suggestion that she will one day seek a parliamentary seat.

You can’t fault her for not responding to her audience. Sarah’s who-me response to her sceptical follower: “Eh? Who says I want a seat?”.

Well, fair’s fair, a lot of rumour-spreaders around Judd Street way for starters is the quick answer to that question. It kind of goes with the course of being a Town Hall leader.

Sarah is a pretty consistent when asked about the satisfaction she gets from the tough job of council leadership, though, often charting that familiar argument that bossing a local authority is more rewarding than being a backbench MP. Dame Jane Roberts often offered a similar view when she was in charge of Camden up until 2005 and asked whether she had ever fancied graduating to the Commons.

All of this, however, doesn’t stop the cynics – and Camden has a few of those – wondering whether Sarah might have a change of heart should Frank Dobson set off a Holborn and St Pancras free-for-all by calling a snap selection race for his seat after the dust has settled on next year’s council elections.

Then again, the ears of a few past Labour group leaders in Camden would surely prick up at that not totally far-fetched prospect.


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