Ed Davey and Midsummer Madness
Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 22nd June, 2007
Ed Davey, MP for Kingston and Surbiton, was the guest speaker at a Richmond Park LibDems fundraising Midsummer dinner last night at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park. Pimms was quaffed, to the accompaniment of a wind quartet, out on the terrace before dinner by candlelight — the latter more a nod to the energy-saving Lights Out London than to romance. In his speech, Ed gave a broad tour d’horizon of the campaigning challenges for the party locally and London-wide, as well as highlighting some of the new tools at our disposal, including a more sophisticated use of data aggregation and online possibilities, such as targetted email shots and Facebook (at which Steve Webb is the undoubted master amongst LibDem MPs).
Inevitably, given the surprises of the last few days, there were questions and discussion about the trap that Gordon Brown had laid, by suggesting that some senior LibDem figures could be embraced into his forthcoming government. Ed stressed that there was never any quesion of this being considered, and being Chief of Staff of Ming Campbell’s office, he should know. The important thing was to continue to assert the party’s independence and to champion key messages and distinctive policies. He was confident that a good number of Labour parliamentary seats will fall at the next general election, and that the Tories can be kept at bay in places like Richmond Park.
In the meantime, we have a busy summer ahead of us, with important local by-elections in Camden, Ealing and Hounslow, to mention but three, a parliamentary by-election in Southall, and the run-up to next year’s London Mayoral and Greater London Assembly elections, in which London South West (Hounslow, Kingston and Richmond) is a target constituency seat, with Stephen Knight ably flying the flag. So quaff ye Pimms while ye may!