Election Daily: Return to base

31 days to go

CALVIN CALLS IT OFF

IT seems like it was only a few days ago that we were talking about how former Conservative council election candidate Calvin Robinson was embarking on a quest to get elected in his new Brexit Party colours up in Broxtowe. Today, Nigel Farage’s annoucement that his party would not contest seats against the Tories means it is all over before it has begun.

Mr Robinson, who was one of the three then-Tories who lost the Swiss Cottage ward to Labour last May, posted a new video on Twitter this afternoon explaining that he had stepped down and that people should vote Conservative in the seat, which was held by Change UK’s Anna Soubry, to ensure that Britain does end up leaving the European Union. Otherwise, to quote the teacher, the country would end up with a “terrorist sympathiser” in power instead, he said.

TORIES SIGN IN

HERE’S our first glimpse of the Conservative candidate in Holborn and St Pancras who was meeting some of the local Tories for the first time as she handed in election nomination papers at the 5PS council offices. As revealed here first on Saturday, Alexandra Hayward, a councillor in the Three Rivers district, has been selected by central office to take on Labour’s Keir Starmer. She’s pictured with the Hampstead and Kilburn candidate Johnny Luk.

AT HOME WITH THE KIDS

PAST elections have shown that Tulip Siddiq has some admirers in the national press. Usually about this time, the double page spreads start appearing. This weekend, it was not so much about Ms Siddiq, however, but her husband Christian Percy, who was asked for a Sunday Times’ web-only long read piece what it’s like to be married to an MP.

“Tulip’s hours are very long, but she also has very little control over when things happen,” he explained. “When the nursery rings and says, ‘Azalea has a temperature, she has to go home,’ someone has to drop what they’re doing, and that would normally be me.”

Of course, it has occasionally been lightly whispered that Mr Percy would one day like to be an MP himself.

But steady on everyone, there’s no need for such predictions about what may happen over the next 20 years. Mr Percy, pictured in the glasses on the day Ms Siddiq was first selected as a parliamentary candidate, told the newspaper: “You can’t necessarily both invest 100% in your careers at the same time. You don’t need to overplan, but there will be natural points in our lifetimes where it will happen. It’s not that the 2010s are for Tulip and the 2020s for me.”

CORRECTION

APOLOGIES to Ms Siddiq: in a previous Election Daily on her leaflet lingo about ‘growing up’ in Camden, it was wrong to say she had gone to school in south London. When she came to the UK at 16, she went to the prestigious Royal School in Hampstead.

ROYAL LOVE

YOU may think that Swiss Cottage is the beating heart of deepest red socialism after the left-wing charge which led to Tories losing their council seats there last year. Not so revolutionary, however, when the royals come to visit. The ward’s Labour councillors stood in line like good subjects when the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the farmers’ market last week. Those with long memories will remember we never got to work out who is a royalist and who is a republican at the Town Hall last year when a Conservative motion celebrating the Queen’s service went unheard at the Town Hall. Apparently, there might have been some surprising results had it gone to a vote.

One local politician who definitely has no problem with the curtseying is Tulip Siddiq. She had planned to help welcome Prince Charles and Camilla, by all accounts, but was later told she could not appear because election purdah had kicked in. The invitation to meet the royal couple was not extended to the other parties, just in case you were wondering why they had not been there for the bowing.

BACK FOR MORE

A TINY surprise in the grand scheme of things last year saw Tory candidate David Brescia claim the fourth place spot behind the three elected Labour councillors in West Hampstead at the Town Hall elections. The ward had previously been a straight battle between Labour and the Lib Dems. He’s obviously got a taste for doorknocking, having now taken on the parliamentary candidacy in Brent Central, the seat which has been occupied by Labour’s Dawn Butler. It’s an uphill climb though: Ms Butler holds a majority of nearly 30,000.

GREEN ALLIANCE

“DELIGHTED to confirm that I am standing as Parliamentary candidate for The Green Party in the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency,” tweets David Stansell. “Much work to do on facing up to climate change, improving local air quality, housing, reducing inequality and of course fighting for the Remain Alliance.”

Deciding who is the  best placed remainer may well be key to unlocking the constituency, so it will be interesting to see what  ‘fighting for the remain alliance’ means here.

TAKE TWO

WHEN former model, TV presenter, ‘Bond girl’, property whiz last stood for the Conservatives in Camden, the story of a little local election went national due to her past fame. She was quoted afterwards as saying: “It was a complete shock. I have been out of the whole thing for so many years that, in a way, I almost forgot about it. To me it’s in the past, but obviously not. It was a complete shock. Dragging up pictures of me in my underwear and ignoring other stuff, and you think, ‘What’s the point? You want to be taken seriously for what you do.”

But time has past and she is back for more, having put her name forward as the Tory candidate in the Haverstock by-election on December 12.

HENRY NEWMAN 

THE one to watch tonight: will Frognal councillor Henry Newman finally get there? He’s up for selection in Wantage, a safe Conservative seat vacated by Ed Vaizey.

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