THE hare is running in Brent Central as Labour finally move towards picking a parliamentary candidate, a contest that has attracted even more internal interest since Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather said she would not seek re-election there. Dozens are interested. The starting gun, however, means Kilburn councillor Mike Katz, who has made no secret of his interest in the role, has unveiled his campaign website, complete with a colour-filtered picture of him sleeves rolled up and looking ready for action next to Dollis Hill tube station.
His council career in Camden comes to end next May, curtailed by his own colleagues after they dropped him from the local election slate earlier this summer. Maybe still a raw wound, no councillor from Camden features on his endorsements page and it’s left to Gospel Oak member Fiona Millar to shower the praise for his ‘proven track record of beating the Lib Dems’.
That’s not to say there isn’t any sign Mike’s Camden Council colleagues on the Brent Central campaign websites that have started popping up here, there and everywhere. Tulip Siddiq, the Regent’s Park councillor who won the PPC selection race in Hampstead and Kilburn, pops up on the front of Tony McNulty’s site. There does not seem to be a written endorsement yet, but her smiling face will give the impression that she’d like Tony to win through.
And then there’s Dawn Butler, who basically wants her old patch back. You have to admire her website for two things at least: one, she puts nice things David Cameron has said about her down, essentially asking Labour members to take seriously the king of the party they oppose. Then, with a stubborn defiance, she includes the nice things Barack Obama said about her too: ‘Dawn is bright, determined and intelligent’. The comments appear in a letter signed by the President which was later found to have been drafted by Ms Butker’s office. It caused quite a kerfuffle at the time. Not bothered by any of the criticism, it’s pride of place on her testimonials page. A final decision is expected in December.