Search

The real reason Hampstead receives so many visits from Tory ministers

13:00 25 July 2014

Andrew Mitchell MP with hostess Fiorella Massey and parliamentary candidate Simon Marcus. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Andrew Mitchell MP with hostess Fiorella Massey and parliamentary candidate Simon Marcus. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Take a stroll through Hampstead these past few weeks and you’d be forgiven for thinking the village had become a “Bohemian Grove” retreat for the Tory cabinet.

Jeremy Hunt tours the Institute of Immunology and Transplantation at the Royal Free. Pictured with Chris Burghes (chief executive of the Royal Free Charity), Prof Hans Stauss (head of the institute) and Cllr Simon Marcus. Picture: David BishopJeremy Hunt tours the Institute of Immunology and Transplantation at the Royal Free. Pictured with Chris Burghes (chief executive of the Royal Free Charity), Prof Hans Stauss (head of the institute) and Cllr Simon Marcus. Picture: David Bishop

The Ham&High can’t seem to go a week without being told there’s another Conservative “big-hitter” winging his way to the area in support of Tory parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, Cllr Simon Marcus.

With an astonishing five Tory grandees coming in the past month alone, the area has become awash with David Cameron’s “middle-aged white men”.

It began when (now former) education secretary Michael Gove joined Cllr Marcus on a visit to St Luke’s School in Kidderpore Avenue on July 4.

Just days later, chancellor George Osborne walked the streets of Kilburn (again with Cllr Marcus) and on July 10 the soon-to-be-sacked environment secretary Owen Paterson was touring Hampstead Heath’s ponds (Cllr Marcus in hand).

Soon followed a visit by “Plebgate” MP Andrew Mitchell and last Thursday health secretary Jeremy Hunt toured the Royal Free Hospital with Cllr Marcus.

With many MPs across the country struggling to attract even one high-profile politician to support their campaigns, the Ham&High asked Cllr Marcus why he has such overwhelming attention?

“I’m fighting the most marginal seat in the country, so the party has been committed to giving me all the support they can,” he said.

“They also see I’m a hard-working candidate, so ministers want to take time to come and see me.”

The seat is a key target for the Tories. But the Ham&High understands this is not the whole story.

Sources have revealed Conservative Campaign Headquarters is awash with quotas dictating the hours ministers must spend visiting constituencies in support of local candidates, which means choosing Hampstead has apparently become a “no-brainer”.

“Ministers love visiting Hampstead because it’s just 20 minutes away from their offices in Westminster,” the source revealed.

“They can fulfil their quota and be back in time for lunch. Given a choice between a long car trip to somewhere in the north or leafy Hampstead, it’s a no-brainer.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 14:00
Memories of 1914-1918 a show devised and performed by Lee Montague and friends in support of Keats Library Michael Palin pictured with Lee Montague and Robert Powell

Tales of local life during the First World War helped to light up a star-studded Remembrance event.

Yesterday, 09:00
Nicholas Lyndhurst and Tamzin Outhwaite pose with Lauderdale House staff members after filming in Waterlow Park

Stars of a TV detective series took time out of filming in Highgate to help a historic house’s fundraising campaign.

Fri, 16:09
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Fri, 15:51
Thieves attempted to steal a cash point machine from Highgate Post Office in Archway Road in the early hours of this morning.

Thieves attempted to steal a cash point machine from a post office in Highgate in the early hours of this morning.

Most read news

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition