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Thursday, January 16, 2014
As the political parties finalise their candidates for May’s local elections, one Tory hopeful caught Heathman’s eye this week.
Edward de Mesquita, the owner of Hampstead’s popular crepe stall La Crêperie de Hampstead, is branching out into the world of politics and has been confirmed as a Conservative contender for West Hampstead, which is currently dominated by Lib Dems.
He has been no stranger to the pages of this newspaper in recent months due to his well-publicised spat with the King William IV pub, next door to his stall.
The row sparked fears that the creperie would be forced to close – prompting a huge groundswell of support with thousands signing a petition to keep it in Hampstead High Street.
If he were to translate that goodwill into votes down the hill in West Hampstead, Mr de Mesquita would surely stand a decent chance – although the Lib Dem incumbents do not seem overly worried by that prospect.
“I don’t think it works like that really,” said Cllr Keith Moffit, leader of the Lib Dems in Camden, before adding: “He’s very much a Hampstead person, so it seems rather peculiar that he is standing in West Hampstead.”
Perhaps surprisingly, Mr de Mesquita stressed how keen he is to help keep the area from becoming too much like Hampstead Village. “It’s a lot like Hampstead was when I started the creperie 33 years ago,” he said of West Hampstead.
“It’s very quirky with lots of interesting little businesses and young people and I would be sorry to see it go the way Hampstead has gone.
“It’s already getting a bit fancy. It’s a little bit scary, but I would like to see it keep the quirkiness.”