THE fall of Brian Coleman in Barnet has opened up quite a contest among north London Conservatives as they search for a way to re-take his old London Assembly seat, surrendered to Labour’s Andrew Dismore in 2012. Coleman had this gig locked down for many years having won three elections in the twin-borough Barnet and Camden constituency. The vacancy has proved attractive and the party has reportedly whittled those interested down to seven names. These include Frognal councillor Siobhan Baillie, and Camden members Thomas Smith and Tim Barnes.
Westminster councillors Antonia Cox and Gotz Mohindra are in the frame too. But the polite grumble from people on the Camden side of the constituency has long been that their offerings are usually outflanked by a larger membership in Barnet, and so shortlisted councillors from there, Dean Cohen and Dan Thomas, the latter being the deputy leader of the council, will be hard to resist.
It’s a contest which might make some Labour activists a wee bit jealous. There were several members who made plans for a run at the seat on the presumption that Dismore would win his parliamentary campaign in Hendon at the general election. His defeat dashed all of that.