FORMER Conservative treasurer Lord Fink was recently involved in very public tax debate tangle with Ed Miliband. Local Labour members were already aware of his name. For it wasn’t so long ago that he was squaring up to chief Theo Blackwell over the council’s plans to sell the ‘Town Hall annexe’ building in Euston Road, questioning the financial risk that Camden was loading onto itself with a re-location to a brand new block at 5 Pancras Square. T-Money called him ‘silly’ during a speech in the council chamber – a comment which hasn’t really come back to haunt him now the transfer is complete. But Lord Fink is still agitated about what’s happening over the road from his apartment in the beautifully-restored St Pancras Chambers. Developer plans to turn the former offices into a luxury hotel, without actually demolishing the 1970s brutalist building and popping a sparkly extension on the roof, will create a ‘blot’ on the rejuvenated King’s Cross, according to Lord Fink. From the raft of objections to the way the new Standard Hotel will look, planners are going to have their work cut out trying to please everyone on that scheme.
SARAH SACKMAN: ELECTED ALREADY?
A BUNGLETRON moment for Labour parliamentary candidate Sarah Sackman in Finchley and Golders Green this week, as she signed off a letter to the Ham & High as the ‘MP for Finchley and Golders Green’. It has to be said, if you are going to commit a campaign dozy, the last way you want to do it is by mailing it directly into the hands of a newspaper. Will anybody switch and not vote for her because she forgot to use ‘prospective’ as a prefix? Probably not. But in the game of one-upmanship with the real MP for the constituency, Tory Mike Freer, it’s still a howler.
A HELPING HAND FROM MIKE
ON F&GG, Sacko’s campaign is full of hearty campaigners who will tell you that Freer could be unseated, just as long as more people could be bothered to get registered to vote in time. They insist it is closer than the bookmaker odds have it. Among the energetic canvassers devoting a bit of a shoe leather to the constituency is former Camden councillor Mike Katz, spotted in East Finchley recently with a big box of leaflets and a campaign clipboard. After the messy business of his de-selection in Kilburn ahead of last year’s council elections and the disappointment of not winning a parliamentary selection in Brent, new challenges could soon be arising for Mike. In Barnet, for example, there is a potential London Assembly vacancy, should Andrew Dismore, running in Hendon, return to the House of Commons in May.
ZACK AND JILL
THE Holborn and St Pancras campaign crews have been doing a tour of universities for their initial hustings, with the candidates most recently at UCL on Wednesday. Mentioned in the mutters after these events has been the Liberal Democrat decision, more than once, to send recent by-election runner Zack Polanski into battle as a sub for the actual candidate, Jill Fraser.
LIB Dem Flick Rea seems a little underwhelmed by this morning’s moon thing.
Eclipse or pollution? pic.twitter.com/SlGmDHcuxW
— Flick Rea (@FlickRea) March 20, 2015
H&K Conservative Oliver Cooper hints that the local election contest will not only revolve around the mansion tax fault line.
Ed Balls: “We’re going to get rid of the free schools.” <- Four opened or opening in Hampstead & Kilburn. Labour wage war on local schools.
— Oliver Cooper (@OliverCooper) March 19, 2015