Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Syed Hoque’

Camden: The LibDem Fight-Back

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 26th May, 2010

The recent general election was a bitter disappointment for the Liberal Democrats in the London borough of Camden. The party’s Ed Fordham didn’t seize the parliamentary seat of Hampstead & Kilburn as had been widely expected, let alone Jo Shaw in Holborn & St Pancras, which looked like an outside chance when opinion polls were suggesting a great ‘Clegg surge’. Moreover, far from taking outright control of Camden Council — which the party had run in coalition with the Conservatives since 2006 — the LibDems lost a significant number of seats in the local elections that took place on the same day. Higher turnout resulted in some of the local party’s most prominent figures being ousted from the Town Hall, though actually the LibDems’ overall share of the vote was much higher than one might think from the results delivered under the first-past-the-post electoral system. Three Council seats were not contested on 6 May, however, as one of the LibDem Councillors in Haverstock ward, Syed Hoque, who had earlier defected from Labour, died after nominations closed, so the election was postponed until yesterday. The result declared late last night was three magnificent LibDem holds for Jill Fraser, Matt Sanders and newcomer Rahel Bokth. This means that the LibDems now become the official opposition. Labour reportedly had over one hundred people helping yesterday to get their vote out, but the result showed that on a ‘normal’ local election turnout, the LibDems still can win in Camden and that their fightback in the borough is well and truly on.


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Camden Labour Councillor Defects to LibDems

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 6th February, 2009

syed-hoque        Camden Liberal Democrats’ apparently inexorable rise took another leap forward today with the defection to the party of Haverstock Ward Labour Councillor Syed Hoque. In a public statement, Cllr. Hoque declared, ‘The Labour Party I joined 20 years ago has changed beyond recognitiion… Labour foreign policies have been a disaster. The decision to support George Bush’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq with false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction has ruined an independent country and killed hundreds and thousands of innocent civilians… Like many others in Camden, I have been deeply upset by the recent invasion of Gaza. Instead of using their influence to bring the fighting to a halt, Gordon Brown and David Miliband have remained silent… I feel throughly let down by Labour and I know that many others in Camden feel the same. I can best serve the people in Haverstock by joining the strong local Liberal Democrat team.’

The other two seats in Haverstock ward were won by the LibDems from Labour in sucessive by-elections. Cllr. Hoque’s defection now swells the LibDem group to 24. They currently run Camden in coalition with the Conservatives,  but would seem well on the way to seizing overall control in the local elections next year.


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