By-election-a-rama in Islington
Arthur ‘Pomegranate’ Graves, formerly a Lib Dem councillor in Camden and then a Lib Dem councillor in Islington and then an independent councillor in Islington, is quitting the UK for a new life in Australia. After quitting the Lib Dems, he claimed some old colleagues among the Lib Dems treated him like a ‘leper’.
And then there’s Jessica Asato, the Labour parliamentary candidate in Norwich North, an attack dog looking to take out the Conservatives’ Chloe Smith, who is haunted by a famous stumblebum appearance opposite Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight. Nobody ever doubted Jessica is one of the hardest working in this game and Smith should be feeling very nervous. But Labour colleagues in both Islington and Camden often privately spoke of her surprise that was trying to straddle that kitchen sink campaign in Norfolk with work as a councillor in London. A month after saying she owed it to the voters to stay fighting their corner at Islington Town Hall, she has now confirmed she is stepping down.
Labour needs all guns firing in that area with half the Whittington hospital to save.
UPDATED: Arthur Graves had leaving drinks last week and the Camden branch was well represented at the toast. Keith Moffitt, Flick Rea and Tom Simon were all there – so obviously not the ones covered by Art’s ‘treated me like a leper’ line.