HAMPSTEAD and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq continues to get the best of her press coverage. This week, she enjoyed another soapy feature interview about her life, this time on the New Statesman website, before re-heating the FOUR month old story about the TB vaccine shortage she stumbled upon when she went to get her daughter immunised for a prominent spot in the Evening Standard yesterday evening. And, yes, she flew the flag for the Living Wage campaign in an op-ed forum piece published in the CNJ this week. Apparently, she is due to more positive headlines in one of tomorrow’s Sunday newspapers.
Those who still shake their heads and wonder how she graduated so smoothly from being a novice Camden councillor to Glenda Jackson’s successor in parliament will have to wait a longer for her to be put on the spot on a live TV appearance by Andrew Neil or the Question Time audience. As she only just been elected, Neil played like a de-clawed lion on their first meeting.
But even those who doubted whether she was Commons material while she was a councillor giving hairbrush speeches to the chamber and the people she left in her wake after skittling them out in the Hampstead and Kilburn selection contest, now hold a grudging admiration for the way she makes sure she always lands on her feet. More often than not she has got to tell her story on her terms. That’s a skill, but maybe not one that should come as a surprise to see from a politician who successfully sold herself as saving libraries during her time as the borough’s leisure chief despite the council’s refusal to keep running some of them. Three branches are now run by volunteers.
The closest we’ve got to a media flashpoint was a bizarre head-on with Vanessa Feltz which ultimately was awkward rather than difficult, and was more testing for Tulip because police officers were trying to move her down the street as she spoke on the radio using her mobile phone. And so, for all the words and pixels she commands on the Staggers website this week, we learned little new. Give it a read: The Nando’s loyalty card scam story was recalled, as well as the episode where she was told not to use the preganncy card, and so on. When the meze was done, her story had been told her way once more – and in politics, that’s half the battle.