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Haringey Liberal Democrats face tough question over new leader after election drubbing

Fall from grace: Haringey Lib Dems are currently rudderless after leader Richard Wilson lost his seat. Picture: Tony Gay Fall from grace: Haringey Lib Dems are currently rudderless after leader Richard Wilson lost his seat. Picture: Tony Gay

Thursday, May 29, 2014
5:21 PM

The loss of both the Liberal Democrat leader and his deputy in last week’s elections in Haringey has left a power vacuum in the party – with no immediately obvious candidates to step into their shoes.

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"The Lib Dem group in Haringey needs a new direction focused on producing a narrative for the entire borough that will appeal to the large numbers of voters who are appalled at the mismanagement of Haringey Council for the past four decades."

Former Haringey Lib Dem councillor

Just four of the nine Lib Dems who were elected have served as Haringey councillors before – Bob Hare, David Beacham, Gail Engert and Martin Newton.

As the party whip, Cllr Beacham is the most senior existing councillor left. However, whether the leader will definitely be drawn from the old guard is still up for debate. New blood may be what is needed, as one former Lib Dem councillor speculated.

The party insider said: “The Lib Dem group in Haringey needs a new direction focused on producing a narrative for the entire borough that will appeal to the large numbers of voters who are appalled at the mismanagement of Haringey Council for the past four decades.”

It is not that the group is without options, as two are already well-known locally. Liz Morris is an active Highgate Society member, while Clive Carter is known for his ability to dig up things the Labour administration would rather residents did not know.

Lib Dem Cllr David BeachamLib Dem Cllr David Beacham

Then there is Viv Ross, who has previously served as a councillor in Bromley. The Lib Dems will make a decision next week.

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