Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Dee Doocey’

Launching Brian Paddick

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 5th September, 2011

Brian Paddick’s campaign as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London had its press launch at the Party’s new national HQ in Westminster this morning, with most of the GLA List candidates — headed by Caroline Pidgeon — also present. Media included the BBC, ITN and the Press Association, as well as Spectrum Radio. Simon Hughes MP, deputy leader of the LibDems, introduced Brian, making the point that recent events in London have underlined why having a candidate with hands-on experience of policing is singularly relevant. The current Mayor, Boris Johnson, has proved his inability to oversee London’s policing personally, whereas Brian would relish the task. Inevitably, law and order figured prominently in the Q&A at the launch, but Brian was keen to emphasize the fact that he is not a one-trick pony. He has the expertise of the current GLA members — Dee Doocey, Caroline Pidgeon and Mike Tuffrey — to draw on, and he will now embark on a listening exercise during which he will go round every borough in the city, finding out what is on people’s minds so the public can have an input into the final London LibDem manifesto that will be unveiled in the New Year.

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London Mayoral Replay

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 2nd September, 2011

With the selection this evening of Brian Paddick as Liberal Democrat candidate for next year’s London Mayoral elections the capital will be seeing a first: a replay of the 2008 match with the same three main party candidates, but under very different circumstances. Back then, Boris Johnson was the new Tory kid on the block, full of zany charm and quixotic ideas, whereas this time he has to try to defend what he has done — or not done — during his term of office. As LibDem members of the London Assembly –Dee Doocey, Caroline Pidgeon and Mike Tuffrey — have pointed out, as they have called the Mayor to account, he has not actually achieved all that much. Even the Barclays-branded bikes which he managed to have dubbed ‘Boris Bikes’ were actually a proposal put forward by former LibDem Assembly member (and now Coalition government Minister) Lynne Featherstone. As for Ken Livingstone, he is not so much yesterday’s man as the day-before-yesterday’s man. He looks tired and has said some pretty wacky things lately, apart from pissing off some of his own party members by supporting a controversial independent candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets last year against his own party. But the interesting transformation that will make 2012 a much more fascinating contest than 2008 is in Brian Paddick. Back then, as he himself says, he was an ex-policeman with very little experience in frontline politics and he had a steep learning curve to climb during the campaign. Three years on, he is a tranformed character, more relaxed, broader in his policy interests but also more effective in his media performances. He has come out as a voice of both experience and sanity on a number of issues, most recently the London riots and the News International phone-hacking scandal. Same faces as in 2008, yes. But absolutely not the same contest this time.

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Dee Doocey on the London Assembly

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 1st June, 2011

Most Londoners have no idea what the London Assembly actually does, even though next year electors in Greater London will be able to vote for its members for the fourth time (alongside the far more high-profile contest for Mayor). One hopes that political activists in the capital, at least, know that basically the Assembly scrutinises the Mayor (currently Boris Johnson). As former Assembly Chair and current Chair of the body’s Economy, Culture and Sport Committee, Dee Doocey, told Kensington and Chelsea Liberal Democrats at their Food for Thought event in Kensington this evening, even if the Assembly has no real power, it has a great deal of influence. Dee herself has spent a lot of the past seven years dealing with policing issues (as she sits on the Metropolitan Police Authority), as well as keeping a sharp eye on the preparations for the London Olympics 2012. There are currently just three LibDem members of the Assembly, all elected on the top-up city-wide list. But Caroline Pidgeon — who is the only one standing again — will be hoping to bring in some bright new talent with her next May. Dee herself was appointed to the House of Lords in the last intake. And she’s quickly found herself dealing with policing issues there as well.


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LibDem Who’s Who at City Hall

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 20th May, 2010

While media attention has been focussed on the dramatic developments at Britain’s national government level, more prosaically, but importantly, changes have been happening at the seat of London government: City Hall. On the Liberal Democrat front, Caroline Pidgeon has become the new group leader in the London Assembly and she has already highlighted several issues she wants to promote:

— the vital importance of tackling crime and the fear of crime that affects every area in London;

— faster improvements to London’s public transport, including the tube upgrades

— real action to improve London’s environment, especially tackling the capital’s poor air quality

— a real increase in affordable housing.

Dee Doocey has become the new Chair of the London Assembly and will lead for the LibDems on the Metropolitan Police Authority, while remaining involved in overseeing the Olympics brief. Mike Tuffrey, who led the LibDem group ably over the past four years, now takes the lead for the group on the London Fire Authority, as well as retaining the lead on budget and performance, environment, housing and planning.

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London LibDem Cartoon Characters

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 10th May, 2008

Considering how dire the London election results were for the LibDems, the atmosphere at the thank-you party at the Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury last night was singularly upbeat. The place was packed for several hours, as the good ladies of Camden local party criculated with home made canapés. Brian Paddick, as well-pressed and pristine as ever, was positively bullish; could a peerage be on the cards for him, I wondered?

The lean but mean new team on the London Assembly — Mike Tuffrey, Dee Doocey and Caroline Pidgeon — can be guaranteed to keep Mayor Bojo on his toes. Meanwhile, under Denys Robinson’s chairmanship, London Region has to carry out a deep analysis of why the party’s vote share plunged in the capital when it held up so well in most other parts of the country. Though I don’t want to prejudge the outcome, I remain convinced that the core problem is that the LibDems haven’t yet got a winning strategy for list elections. This must now be an urgent priority, as there’s only a year to put it into place to deliver the results the party needs in the upcoming European elections.


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