Election daily: Prime time Sian

21 days to go…


NOW follows a party political broadcast on behalf of Sian Berry. Sorry, I mean on behalf of the Green Party. With their prime time TV slot this evening, the Greens killed two birds with one stone by telling everybody around the country why they think you should vote for them and the dangers of one party dominating local democracy, but also giving Cllr Berry, the party’s sole councillor in Camden, valuable airtime in these critical moments.

It’s a pretty canny tactic, as the perfect thing for Cllr Berry is that she will not have to declare this in the local election spending because it is part of a national campaign. Notice how she doesn’t say the word Camden in her five minute talk to the camera, and when she references the Chalcots mayhem, she does not specifically name the estate.

Every other candidate on the ballot paper for May 3 would kill for a free shot like this. The party’s manifesto is due to be launched next week.


FEW readers of Camden Labour’s manifesto have escaped the slightly odd choice of setting on the opening page. Under the title ‘Our Camden’ on the first page, Georgia Gould, Keir Starmer and Tulip Siddiq are pictured chilling out not by Camden Lock, Waterlow Park or the Swiss Cottage water feature… but 56 miles away in (my hometown of) Brighton. It was nice of them to visit, but surely they should get back to north London.


GEORGIA Gould’s billing as the ‘unity leader’ of Camden Labour continues. Remember, unlike her predecessor who scraped into the Town Hall leadership by one vote and then only defended it when challenged by five, Cllr Gould was chosen unanimously by Labour councillors to take control of the council group. Will this internal bonhomie hold? We’ll see; most likely, both wings are looking to see what personnel the party has on the council after the elections and how it affects cabinet positions at the AGM, which follow very quickly, to whether she will let slip any favouritism.

In the meantime, as if to  emphasise her gelling importance her picture is on nearly every page, including one of her former teacher Una Doyle and her sister, Grace.


WE know there are Conservatives in neighbouring Islington because MPs Boris Johnson and Andrew Mitchell, among others, live there. But it’s proved to be pretty hard trying to get hold of any the council election co-ordinators. When the Islington Tribune called the office today to hear about their plans for the elections (because, y’know, they are pretty soon now) a man said he could only be quoted as a spokesman and not by his name. Why so shy? The Tories say their office has been vandalised recently. OK, but it’s going to be hard to win a seat next month if nobody will put a name to anything.


BLOOMSBURY councillor Sabrina Francis takes a photo of the election results four years ago. An ace with a mobile phone, she was named in the New Year’s Honours list in January for services to the University of London where she works as a social media officer. BIOB.


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