Sarah’s top table

PHIL Jones and Valerie Leach will be the fresh faces in the new council cabinet in Camden. While there was much focus on who would take up the leadership of the Labour group/the council ahead of Sarah Hayward’s knife-edge win yesterday evening, half the rest of the group had expressed an interest in a cabinet portfolio. Larraine Revah and Sean Birch were the ones to drop out after a secret ballot. Under the new system, Sarah now decides who gets which job – a selection that must be completed by next week’s mayor making at the latest. Pat Callaghan, meanwhile, will be her deputy. Angela Mason, the surprise loser at last year’s AGM, climbs back onto the cabinet. The full team: Theo Blackwell, Tulip Siddiq, Pat Callaghan, Julian Fulbrook, Abdul Hai, Nash Ali, Phil Jones, Angela Mason and Valerie Leach.

7 Comments on Sarah’s top table

  1. peter brayshaw // May 10, 2012 at 1:24 am //

    Hardly huge news is this? Usual annual turnover of 20% of Cabinet. No blood on the carpet, continuous democracy, a good-humoured AGM, following a friendly process of policy debate. Camden Labour is united and determined to protect the people against the ravages of the Tory-led Government. Our new Leader and Cabinet will all do this to their utmost. As it happens, I personally voted for each and every one of them, but would have been happy with the alternatives, given the huge wealth of diverse talent we have amongst the Camden Labour Councillors.

    (I realise posting opens me to your frequent ignorant and possibly abusive counterposts. All our Labour group candidates were motivated by the wish to best serve Camden’s people. So, readers, please don’t trivialise or personalise.)


    • Richard Osley // May 10, 2012 at 2:41 am //

      Thanks Peter, appreciate your comments here – and a post signed by a councillor, not an alias. Not big big news, no, but people were asking about it through the evening, so a couple of paragraphs on a blogpost (not the front page of the newspaper) seemed ok. I’m not sure if you meant me or others about counterposting but I actually agree that concentration on personalities can ruin debates over policies – look at last week’s London elections for starters. I’d be interested to know whether the way top positions on the council are picked concentrate on one or the other. In a voting pool as small as 30, surely personality plays a part somewhere along the line.


      • peter brayshaw // May 12, 2012 at 1:36 am //


        I certainly did not mean you! about counterposting. But some of your readers (eg, look no further than recent post hiding behind the alias “Ghost of Readers Past”) If you want, I’m sure the Labour Group’s new press officer will detail the highly democratic and transparent – if lengthy – exhaustive ballot system of voting we used, after several debates over recent weeks.

        PS – you did actually put it on the front page of the print edition!

        PPS I personally always say what I mean, mean what I say, never use aliases or pseudonyms, and stand by my own views, privately and publicly.


    • Joanne Harrison // May 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm //

      Mmmm. Camden Labour may be united but the unspoken truth here is that they punished their former leader for not leading – then turned round and rewarded him by giving him a cabinet post, and then rewarded his challenger for stabbing him in the back by electing her as leader. Hypocrisy, politics – what’s the difference? No doubt in my mind that the make-up of the Cabinet has now shifted to the right. Though Cllr Hayward’s majority of 1 is hardly a resounding mandate! So let me not ruin this counter-post totally, by just daring to concentrate on the personalities within Camden Labour. Let’s watch this space and see if the policies they sign off between now and 2014 will lead to Camden Labour’s punishment by the electorate. The only casualty yesterday was the ‘honourable’ member for CSF who turned around her portfolio from the precipice it was heading, and rescued my play centre in Caversham Road. I apologise to you on behalf of your dishonourable comrades.


  2. The ghost of leaders past // May 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm //

    So Peter Brayshaw wants the world to think this was a peaceful evening!
    Theo “too honest for his own good” Blackwell mysteriously gets less votes than his supporters numbers. Tulip “let it slide” Siddiq wins it by a lightyear in the first round but then low and behold “miracles” happen when those votes are held again. How’s is it even possible for 15 votes to turn into 14 votes? And for every single one of those “too honest for his own good” votes to dance there way across to Sarah “blood on her hands” Hayward?
    And then there was the cabinet “elections”. How did Angela Mason come back from the dead? And how did Valerie Leach weasel past the bunch of also rans? Almost seems too good to be true?
    The vultures were circling over Nash “better than they knew” Ali for a long time. Now they’ve landed and there going to strip Camden’s body bare to the bones and most probably suck out the marrow also.
    “Blood on her hands” and her Blairite cronies strike again. But its not gonna be “right first time” for Camden anymore, it will be “right wing first time, right wing second time and right wing every bloody time” from here to eternity.
    If Osley and Co can’t smell a fish market when they walk through it then they are not the journos Camden thought they were.
    There was a time when the Labour Party and the local press wouldn’t have stood for this. Who will be our knights in shining armour now?


    • Red Albert // May 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm //

      This was a war of slates and tactics. For that matter it is clear that one of the slates had a slate within a slate with one or two snakes in the pit. Never the less Peter ‘saint’ Brayshaw wants Camedeners to believe that Labour Group has now casted its democratic vote and elected a new leader and a Cabinet based on “capability!” (and there are very capable few in the bunch in deed).


  3. Sonia Greenwald // May 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm //

    Clr Revah who did an amazing job with children schools and families is no longer involved. And it is surely a great loss after all the hard and dedicated work she put in. I doubt if any one else would be more dedicated. Her love for children is unconditional.


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