THE list of Conservative candidates abandoning their local election campaigns continues after Marx de Morais quits the race in Gospel Oak. The effervescent campaigner who injected some spirit into a one-sided by-election in the ward last year, won by Labour, has become tired of the party’s insistence that Brexit is not an issue at the upcoming Camden polls. Leave-supporting Tories have suggested that their vote for a divorce from the European Union will not influence the result because, they say, people will be voting on local issues at the Town Hall elections, like rubbish collections and so on.
In a letter to the local press, he said: “Camden Conservatives set the motto that “BREXIT does not matter locally”. Camden is home to thousands of European citizens (yes, and still they are allowed to vote) with a multiple of friends who value them as neighbours and know how much our country benefits from them. It is the Camden Conservatives saying that these people play no role and are of no interest locally and therefore irrelevant. In the upcoming local elections in May, all residents, (also those of European descent, such as myself) democratically, decide who represent them.”
His message added: “A party who decides they do not want to represent all residents, must face consequences on the bailout box, even more from such an open and cohesive community like we are in Camden. I can’t represent the actual politic of the Camden Conservatives in front of voters, and it would be hypocritical of me if I would say otherwise. Hate and assault, division, xenophobia and belief in one’s own superiority, that are challenges of our time. All that happens also here! Locally! In Camden.” See Thursday’s newspaper for his letter further explaining his reasons.
Mr De Morais’s departure from the race in Gospel Oak follows the news last week that long-term candidate Hamish Hunter has pulled out in Hampstead town and Charlotte de Villiers will no longer run in Fortune Green. Charlotte Kude, Helen Harris and Nick Grierson had already left the battle in the north west of the borough, while group leader Claire Louise-Leyland recently joined the councillors who will not seek another term at the Town Hall: Andrew Mennear, Tom Currie and Siobhan Baillie. Some have cited new work commitments, some have or are moving away. Among the other councillors who won with a Tory rosette four years ago, Jonny Bucknell has been de-selected, while Andrew Marshall is now a member of the Liberal Democrats.
The Conservatives say new candidates are ready for the contest and a full slate will be revealed next weekend.