JUST for one brief second – just one second – I thought I had the scoop of scoops from Lib Dem conference when I was walking along the seafront in Brigthon on Sunday evening and came across former Labour councillor Phil Rosenberg.
Had he? Given his open disputes with some quarters of the Labour Party, could it be possible that he had switched sides?
Flick Rea jokingly twisted his arm but no, Mr Rosenberg is staying put and, as we have seen, is challenging those he disagrees with head on. He was in town for his day job at the Board of Deputies and later attended a multi-faith event with Tim Farron.
His collision course with comrades hit another bump last week when the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency almost passed a pre-Labour conference motion calling on the party to backtrack on its adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism, recently agreed by the Labour NEC.
There was a familiar skirmish online with Rebecca Shirazi – she questioned why he was tweet-reporting on a private meeting he wasn’t at – before local member Sienna Rodgers was dragged in to it too for writing online about the proceedings in her role as editor of the Labour List website.
Mr Rosenberg’s suggestion on this was an interesting one given how many different versions of Labour constituency meetings zip around almost as soon as they are over: ‘I personally think we should just invite the press in to meetings and make them public. That way they could judge what happens for themselves rather on the basis of hearsay,’ he said.
Apparently this happened in the distant, distant past but there doesn’t seem to be much further appetite among the membership for the idea to be taken up.