Out of the depths

THE incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson famously loves a little a bit of Latin, so over to the Italian deputy leader of the Camden Conservatives, Gio Spinella, for his reaction on the party’s choice of new leader. He tweets:

‘De profundis clamavi ad te,


Domine, exaudi vocem meam.

Fiant aures tuæ intendentes

in vocem deprecationis meæ.’

We did not learn Latin at my comprehensive but that does sounds a bit ominous. Here, *quick google*, is Cllr Spinella saying a prayer, Psalm 130, for his party and the country.

Pushed for an explanation of his thoughts in English, he said: “Boris Johnson was a great Mayor of London, one for whom I was proud to have campaigned. But the Boris Johnson who was a leader of the Leave campaign, an unimpressive foreign secretary and finally a serial rebel against the last government will struggle greatly to convince me, and Camden voters, that he is unifying, not to mention the vote-winning politician that many of my fellow party members think he is. Of course, I could be pleasantly mistaken.”

He added: “While I have deep reservations over Boris, it is the people backing him – chiefly the ERG (European Research Group) — that worry me most. As for my future in the Conservative Party, I am not ready to comment on where my political journey may take me. But this is not the party I and many other local members joined.”

Cllr Spinella’s downbeat assessment of Mr Johnson may not be a surprising tale. He is one of a very few number of councillors in Camden’s recent history in any party who have publicly broken the party whip in the council chamber when he supported a motion on a second referendum on Europe earlier this year.

Among those who see things differently to a Cllr Spinella in local Conservative circles, he is also dismissed as a ‘sour grape’, after being mugged for the local party leader before he had even got started in the role last year. Body language-wise, he is hardly a cheerleader for party leader Oliver Cooper, who has to look elsewhere in the ranks for energetic applause after full council meeting speeches.

Cllr Cooper, in contrast, is full swing behind Mr Johnson.

”Everyone should get behind Boris so the liberal policies he proposed during the race, such as hiring 20,000 more police, an amnesty on illegal immigrants and putting £5 billion extra into state schools – can be put into effect,” he said.

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