Search

Camden Council Labour leader Nash Ali quits after challenge against him

12:45 14 March 2012

Cllr Nasim Ali is quitting as leader of Camden Council. Picture: Polly Hancock

Cllr Nasim Ali is quitting as leader of Camden Council. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

The leader of Camden Council will quit the top job after being challenged for the post by his regeneration chief.

Cllr Nash Ali emailed fellow Labour councillors on Tuesday night (March 13) to tell them of his early exit after Cllr Sarah Hayward confirmed she would stand against him at Labour’s annual meeting in May.

Cllr Ali, who has led the party for three years, told colleagues he had wanted to stay in the job for another 12 months but that Cllr Hayward had “forced the issue”.

He told the Ham&High: “It was a difficult decision to say I am going to step down from the biggest job in Camden, but I am doing what is best for the Labour Party.

“We are running the council and we want to make sure we do that to the best of our ability.

“If I was going to be standing for Labour leader beyond the next council elections in 2014, I would have considered standing against Sarah. I have no doubt I would have won.

“But if I went through that election contest for the sake of one year, that wouldn’t be fair.”

Since becoming leader three years ago, Cllr Ali has faced one of the toughest political and economic climates of any Camden leader.

He led the party to victory in the 2010 local elections, toppling the town hall’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat Camden coalition.

But once in office he was faced with steering through £100million of cuts over four years, schools losing millions of pounds of government funding for much-needed repairs, and the outbreak of rioting in Camden Town last August.

He showed a flair for talking to the community and launched the Camden Education Commission in an ambitious bid to help the borough’s schools capitalise on the area’s links to the creative industries.

But the father-of-three made no secret of his plans to step down as leader ahead of the 2014 council elections, and disquiet among Labour colleagues at his leadership style continued unabated.

A Labour insider said: “Camden is one of the leading boroughs in the country, and there was a feeling that we weren’t pulling our weight in London or in the country. That is not Camden’s style. That is something that rested on people’s minds.

“I’m not sure there was enough of wanting to set the agenda. Sarah would lead from the front.”

While Cllr Hayward, who represents King’s Cross, is the only person so far to have announced her leadership bid, the outgoing leader encouraged others to enter the race.

In his resignation email he said: “Colleagues have indicated that they would be minded to stand, but would not stand against me. I am grateful for their loyalty.

“However, it is more important for the Labour Group to have the widest choice of candidates for the next phase of Labour’s leadership in Camden.”

Cllr Hayward confirmed that she had told Cllr Ali last Friday (March 9) she would stand against him.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

BRIDGET GALTON meets the Jewish Chronicle’s literary editor Gerald Jacobs whose debut novel of familial love is set against the backdrop of the Holocaust

18:32

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq has said she is willing to leave the shadow cabinet to vote against Brexit following the Supreme Court decision today that the matter must be put before Parliament.

17:01

The Premier League announced today that they are partnering with Cadbury, prompting us to devise a list of past and present Tottenham and Arsenal players with chocolatey-sounding names.

11:15

Friends of George Michael were today gathering outside his Highgate home to create a tribute garden to the singer on the green opposite his house.

12:33

Ricky Gervais provided a “fantastic” surprise for an East Finchley dog charity by donating the proceeds of a warm-up gig held at the Arts Depot.

Saracens are one step closer to defending their European crown after progressing into the quarter-finals following their thrilling 10-3 victory over French giants Toulon at Allianz Park on Saturday.

10:49

Rap God: was Eminem househunting in Hampstead? Plus a rental fit for a king on Regal Lane and a buy-to-let opportunity in Belsize feature in this week’s picks

Saracens’ forwards and defence coach Alex Sanderson fears a pre-match promise could now prove costly after the Hendon-based club completed the double over Toulon in their final European pool match.

Results

Hampstead and Kilburn

  • Tulip Siddiq (Labour)
    23,977 (44.4%)

Finchley and Golders Green

  • Mike Freer (Conservative)
    25,835 (50.9%)

Holborn and St Pancras

  • Keir Starmer(Labour)
    29,062 (52.9%)

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now