Grocery man Gorrie is Haringey's new Lib Dem leader
THE LIBERAL democrats have chosen the director of a successful online grocery delivery business as their new leader. Hornsey councillor Robert Gorrie will replace Cllr Neil Williams as leader of the opposition on Haringey Council
THE LIBERAL democrats have chosen the director of a successful online grocery delivery business as their new leader.
Hornsey councillor Robert Gorrie will replace Cllr Neil Williams as leader of the opposition on Haringey Council.
Mr Gorrie was boss of Ocado - the online arm of Waitrose - and is still on the firm's board.
After his selection as Lib Dem leader at Wood Green Civic Centre on Wednesday night Cllr Gorrie said: "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead such a capable team who are poised to take control of Haringey Council. I look forward to continuing the fight for local residents, for an end to Haringey Labour's waste and for victory in 2010."
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During his time as a councillor he has opposed the development of the Hornsey Depot site and campaigned for more community facilities in the Campsbourne Estate.
Mr Gorrie, who was elected as the councillor for Hornsey in 2006, taking the previously safe seat from Labour and was Lib Dem finance spokesman.
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He is married with two children and lives off the Archway Road, in Highgate.
His father, Donald Gorrie, was a Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West until 2001, and was a member of the Scottish Parliament until 2007; and local councillor for 35 years.
Outgoing Lib Dem leader, Neil Williams, said: "I'm absolutely delighted that in Robert Gorrie we have not just a new leader for the Liberal Democrats, but a brilliant council leader in waiting. He couldn't be better equipped for the job, and it is the people of Haringey that will benefit the most from his skills."
Local Liberal Democrat MP, Lynne Featherstone was quick to congratulate her colleague. She said: "I am delighted to welcome such a talented campaigner to the top job in our council group. I have no doubt that he will hold no punches in exposing Haringey Labour's waste and mismanagement. Together we will be a formidable duo fighting for the people of Haringey."
George Meehan, Leader of the Labour-run Haringey Council said he was unafraid of Mr Gorrie's business acumen.
He said: "Who leads the Lib Dems is not a matter for me to get concerned about.
"I've already seen three Lib Dem leaders off so I won't lose sleep over the selection of the fourth.
"We will continue to do what we think is right for the people of Haringey and look forward to having a constructive working relationship with Mr Gorrie.