Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Dinesh Dhamija’

EP2019: London Votes Remain!

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 27th May, 2019

EP2019 declarationThough Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party won most seats in this week’s European elections, just as its predecessor UKIP did in 2014, the striking difference from five years ago was the huge surge in support for the Liberal Democrats and to a lesser extent the Greens. It’s not hard to explain why (though the Government will doubtless try to spin otherwise). Both the LibDems and the Greens had an unequivocally anti-Brexit message, as indeed did the SNP, which did especially well in Scotland. In contrast, the Conservatives, who have been endeavouring unsuccessfully to push Theresa May’s Brexit deal through Parliament crashed to their worst result since the 1830s. And Labour — whose leadership continues to sit on the fence over Brexit, trying to please both Brexiteers and Remainers, therefore satisfying neither — also had a very poor result. In London, Labour fell from four MEPs to just two, though interestingly both successful candidates were forthright Remainers and Seb Dance used his short victory speech to berate the leadership for not clearly backing staying in the EU and holding a new referendum. The LibDems topped the poll in London, with 27% of the vote, reaping three MEPs, all newcomers to the field: Irina von Wiese, Dinesh Dhamija and Luisa Porritt. As Number 4 on the list I was sad not to join them, but I have been in this situation before! What is more important is that with the exception of the two Brexit Party MEPs (who came third in the popular vote in the capital), London is now represented by a rainbow coalition of Remainers who will be fighting hard to Stop Brexit — the pithy slogan that served the LibDems so well!

Advertisements

Posted in Brexit, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The London LibDems’ Mayoral Hustings

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 1st November, 2018

Siobhan Benita and Rob BlackieLondon Liberal Democrats took over the NUT headquarters in Camden last night for a hustings with the four short-listed candidates for the Mayoral elections in May 2020, the event chaired by former GLA member, Mike Tuffrey. Like the city itself, the shortlist is gloriously diverse: Siobhan Benita, Rob Blackie, Dinesh Dhamija and Lucy Salek. Several of those names might already resonate beyond the approximately 20,000 London LibDem members. Siobhan was a senior civil servant across a range of government departments and stood as an Independent in the 2012 mayoral election, coming close to the LibDems and Greens; like many in the hall last night, she joined the LibDems because of Brexit. Rob has been active for many years in the Party and works in the field of tech/IT; he made it clear, that Brexit would be at the heart of his campaign. Dinesh is a successful entrepreneur (founding Ebookers, among others) and philanthropist, and a first-generation immigrant. And Lucy has worked mainly in international development and other poverty-related issues; she stood as the LibDem candidate in the Lewisham East by-election in June this year.

Dinesh DhamijaOver a period of two hours, the candidates were put through their paces; after a short speech, each was asked separate written questions from the floor, then there was a panel session where all four were on the podium fielding common questions. These ranged across a wide field, from policing to transport, housing and the environment. I had half made up my mind about who I would vote for, and in which order, because I know all four candidates personally. But the hustings certainly firmed things up for me and I am sure will have been of great use to those less familiar with the individuals. I sent off my electronic ballot paper (for the GLA top-up list members, as well as for the Mayor) when I got home late last night.

You can get a good flavour of it all by watching the video uploaded by my fellow London LibDem Executive member, Alan Muhammed:

Part 1: Candidate statements and  questions: https://www.facebook.com/LondonLibDems/videos/1013778015468784/UzpfSTUwOTE1MjE5OTpWSzoxMDk0NDIxNjEwNzM0OTEy/

Part 2: Panel Q&A: https://www.facebook.com/LondonLibDems/videos/185428402341672/UzpfSTUwOTE1MjE5OTpWSzoxMDk0NjY2NDc3Mzc3MDky/

Posted in Liberal Democrats, London, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »