Play it again, Sarah

COUNCIL leader Sarah Hayward’s devoted 3,000+ Twitter followers were told last week that my story in the New Journal about the battlefield in Hampstead and Kilburn contained an inaccuracy.

Her tweet suggested the piece was defective because she had never claimed her Labour Party colleague Tulip Siddiq would be a ‘shoo-in’ for the Hampstead and Kilburn parliamentary seat next year.

It’s a confusing criticism, because after the May local elections she had said: “You have to look at Hampstead and Kilburn and think [parliamentary candidate] Tulip Siddiq is going to be a shoo-in for that seat. This is an incredible result.”

Of course, we can all see that maybe the tone of the word ‘shoo-in’ – as confident as it gets – doesn’t fit in with the quietly confident approach to Tulip’s parliamentary campaign so far. It was an instant, on the spot reaction to the council election victory, but some punters in the constituency thought it all a little cocky when it went to print.

But maybe we should listen to the tape, for it is an important thing when somebody as senior in our local politics as Sarah, with a background in communications, suggests to a healthy number of internet users that we are being misleading and inaccurate. It’s not really the done thing, but have a listen for yourselves.

No further questions, m’lud…

UPDATED: After this post went up on Tuesday, it was apparently suggested in some quarters that I had snipped the audio to miss out the fullness of Sarah’s answer, to the extent where a qualifying remark had been left on the cutting floor. That in itself feels like a bit of an insult, so below is the the audio of the full answer Sarah gave. The only bit which was missed out was Sarah wishing Tulip well, and then we were onto the next question about which local election success had made her most proud. This may all sound petty, but in whatever profession you are in, if a senior politician suddenly says you got it wrong to an audience of 3,000+ people, you want to know where. 

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