Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Lucy Salek’

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/

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

Why Lewisham East Matters

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 28th May, 2018

Lewisham EastParliamentary by-elections are the cup-cakes of political nerds and I have followed them closely since my early teens. I cut my political teeth as an 18-year-old sub-agent in the Birmingham Ladywood by-election in 1969 (which Wallace Lawler won for the then Liberal Party) and I have lost count of all the by-election campaigns I’ve helped in since. So naturally I’ve been heading down to Lewisham East ever since a by-election was called there, following the resignation of Labour MP Heidi Alexander to take up a job as a Deputy Mayor for London. Based on the 2017 figures one might imagine that Labour will walk it in the by-election, though the Liberal Democrats came a very strong second in 2010. But this is no normal by-election. As Leaving the EU Day (March 2019) looms, this is being seen as a Brexit litmus test, with the LibDems rallying Remainers behind the talented local candidate, Lucy Salek, in what was an overwhelmingly Remain constituency in the 2016 EU Referendum. More specifically, it is an opportunity for voters in Lewisham East to pass their verdict on Labour’s policy on Brexit. Despite repeated opinion polls showing that a majority of Labour members believe leaving the EU is a mistake, Jeremy Corbyn stubbornly persists in underwriting the Conservative government’s Brexit. Ideally there will be a People’s Vote on the final deal Mrs May and her team reach with Brussels, but in the meantime the Lewisham East by-election is the best opportunity to send a message to Mr Corbyn, as well as to the Prime Minister. That’s why so many of us, including party leader, Vince Cable, have been heading there often. Labour called the by-election quickly, with polling on 14 June; the Brent East by-election 15 years ago showed them that having a long campaign allows the LibDems to build up steam. They lost Brent East and if enough of a momentum builds up over the next fortnight in Lewisham East, they could get a shock there too.

Posted in Brexit, Liberal Democrats, UK politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »