Libdems refuse to work with Tories… in London

3:18 pm - May 12th 2010

by Newswire    

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Libdems in London are refusing to join in a coalition with the Conservatives.

That would almost certainly mean that Tories will no longer be in charge of scrutinising the Mayor.

Blogger Adam Bienkov was told by a Libdem source at the GLA:

At City Hall, and almost certainly at LFEPA, we will be retaining our agreement with the Labour and Green partys. Our work is about scrutiny and we have always argued that the opposition should lead that work.

He reports that Lib Dem MP Tom Brake is being tipped as Minister for London.

Adam Bienkov adds:

The other big role on offer is Chair of the London Assembly. And with Green and Labour AMs taking the last two turns, the Lib Dems are now due to take theirs.

However, given the national coalition, the Green Party and Labour may not be entirely happy with the deal.

But if Dee Doocey does take the position as expected, then there can be little doubt that she would keep Boris on his toes.

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Reader comments

Yes please don’t get into bed with Boris – seriously London is being crippled by his incompetence.

Boris has reversed the privatisation of the Tube.

Just sayin’.

3. Ross Stalker

This is no big surprise. The coalition agreement only applies to Westminster, and so it should only apply to Westminster, because our party in Westminster is the only part that’s covered by the coalition agreement document.

There’d be no point in our MLAs now going easy on Boris. They’re there to take whatever course of action will best promote liberal policies.

Presumably the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives remain in coalition in Birmingham however?

And there will probably even be a Conservative-Labour coalition or two around (there normally are). This is healthy, and shows that parties can work together when needed; it doesn’t say anything much about anything other than local politics!

5. Mike Killingworth

[3] Mr Paxman: Mr Deputy Prime minister, to whom should Londoners give their second vote in the London mayor election?

Mr Clegg (for it is he): Jeremy, my position is perfectly clear. Londoners should vote for Ms Trixie Allthingstoallmen, our excellent Lib Dem candidate.

Mr Paxman: But this is a PR election, Mr Deputy Prime Minister. You LibDems like PR, don’t you? Who should Londoners give their second vote to?

Mr Clegg: They should vote for Trixie —

Mr Paxman: And for their second vote, Mr Deputy Prime Minister?

[Repeat 14 times, or more…]

Ross, if you believe that Labour and the Greens are going to let you get away with that, you should look skywards, where I have no doubt you will see several flying piggie-wiggies, too.

London politics is too close to Westminster politics for the Lib Dems to cause trouble for Boris now.

Like it or not, they can’t rock the boat if they want to stay in their posts after the next GLA election, let alone move up to candidacy for winnable constituencies.

The electoral system in London makes the leader’s patronage vital. Clegg can simply have people removed from lists – and the constituencies are too large, made up of several boroughs, and even more constituencies, for strong “local” party choice to be got through.

So Clegg’s control over them will be subtle (secret for the most part) but strong. And with the tories already worried about Boris’ boat rocking – they and the Lib Dems will want the GLA kept firmly in line.

Don’t know where my post went – but here it is again. Worded different as I didn’t copy it before.

Patronage is very strong in London’s democracy because the constituancies are groups of lots of constituencies, while parties are organised along constituency lines. That means there is little hope of a strong local candidate gaining “local” party support for selection.

That in turn means central parties pick candidates – and of course pick lists too. So Clegg is in control of who is re-selected in two years – and who is promoted perhaps to winnable constituencies.

So since the tories are woried about boris rocking the boat – they, and thus the Lib Dems, will be exerting a lot of behind the scenes control.

Margin4error. Sorry you are simply wrong, and appear not to have read the original posting anyway. The Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly are in a “progressive alliance” with the Labour and Green AMs because they believe, rightly, that as their job is to scrutinise the Mayor it is important that this work is carried by members not of the Mayor’s Party.

The election of the Lib Dem Mayoral candidate and the Lib Dem Assembly members is a matter for Party members – its one person, one vote. Nobody in the ‘leadership’ can influence the elections. Party rules positively forbid endorsements.

And in response to Mike Killingworth – Jeremy Paxman and others asked that question repeatedly at the last Mayoral elections. They will ask it again and get the same answers.


“And in response to Mike Killingworth – Jeremy Paxman and others asked that question repeatedly at the last Mayoral elections. They will ask it again and get the same answers.”

Shouldn’t the answer always be ‘whoever they select, this being a democracy’? You could probably get some mileage of out Mr Paxman’s normally lazy assumption that voters are the property of parties…

10. Mike Killingworth

[8][9] Not good enough. First, in the ’08 Mayoral the LibDems weren’t in a co-alition government. Second, the question – as Paxo could tell you – isn’t about what it says it’s about. It’s about whose second choice the LibDems really want from those who vote Labour or Tory as their first choice – in the event (which hasn’t happened in the three Mayorals so far and isn’t likely to next time either) that the LibDem candidate comes in as runner-up on the first ballot. Actually, it isn’t even about that: it’s about whose voters they want to kiss off.

But of course now we know. It’s anti-Tory voters. I look forward to the hysterical abuse from LibDem posters here as and when the Labour and Green parties sign an electoral pact in seats in which neither of the came anywhere near second last Thursday.

11. Graham Smith

The coalition is only for government in Westminster, and it’s not an electoral pact. In all other authorities and elections the Lib Dems will continue to campaign against the Tories and may well make suggestions on preferencing other than the Tories. The Lib Dems are a democratic party based on a federal structure, they don’t dictate to their minions from the top.

“Boris has reversed the privatisation of the Tube.

Just sayin’.”

Up to a point. He’s bought out the Tube Lines shareholders but kept both partners on, hopefully on a slightly saner model. It’s not like the Croydon Tramlink nationalisation started just before he became Mayor where TfL bought out a long-term PFI completely and took over running the network.

It’s not entirely accurate to conflate ‘privatisation’ with ‘horribly overcomplicated and bureaucratic public private partnership contracts’, either.

I think the Thirsk and Malton election is going to be the most interesting result, post-coalition. After all it’s for Westminster and the LDs and Cons are standing against eachother. The other parties really will be able to say “Vote X and get Y” and they won’t be lying!

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