Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cllr Danny McCarthy

Labour is now the largest political group on Southwark following the decision of Cllr Danny McCarthy, a councillor in Cathedrals Ward since 2002, to resign from the LibDems. Danny cites as his principal reason for resigning the fact of the alliance between the Tories and LibDems in which the LibDems have given up the crucial portfolios of housing and resources. However, from conversations which I have had I know that Danny has been greatly hurt by the vicious way in which he has been treated in recent weeks by his erstwhile colleagues in the LibDem group. It seems that the vicious personal side of the LibDems which was so evident when Charles Kennedy was forced out as Leader of the LibDems nationally is alive and well amongst Southwark LibDem members.

In a truly amazing outburst the current Leader of the Council has called on Danny McCarthy to resign his seat and stand for re-election in a by-election. This outburst is amazing because as Danny has rightly observed, no one in Southwark voted for the Tory / LibDem coalition in charge at the Town Hall, and if Cllr Stanton is so concerned about the wishes of the voters perhaps he should put that coalition to the test in a public vote. After the chaos in the borough's housing department, the £120 million call-centre in meltdown and the Thatcherite Tories being given a free rein to slash council budgets, I am fairly confident what the public reaction would be!

Danny will sit as an independent councillor for the time being, but I hope that we will be able to meet his ambitions and welcome him back into the Labour Party in the near future.

So the current state of the parties is Labour - 28; LibDems - 27; Tories - 6; Green - 1; Independent - 1

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