Editor’s comment: Enough with the in-fighting

Mayor of Camden, Maryam Eslamdoust has accused her council colleagues of misogynistic bullying. Pict

Mayor of Camden, Maryam Eslamdoust has accused her council colleagues of misogynistic bullying. Picture: Vanessa Berberian. - Credit: Archant

I’m troubled to hear the mayor’s description of misogynistic bullying in Camden’s Labour group.

Such behaviour is a disgrace to a council, especially one that is progressive in other areas, and has no place among elected politicians.

Depressingly, this isn't the first time I've seen a borough's ruling party at war with itself. It isn't always left-right, or new-old; nor is it confined to Labour. Indeed, the most bitter split I can remember (and there have been several) was actually in Havering's Conservative party, which almost completely tore itself in half at one point, going so far as to produce two separate election manifestos.

Business as usual, then - but I wish people would actually read our stories before engaging in the sort of counterfactual public pile-on we endured last week when it was decided, wrongly, that we had taken a side.

To recap: we published a data-based story about the spend of Camden Council as a corporate body on the mayor-making reception, with accusations put to and answered by Camden Council's corporate press office.

Yet we were accused of attacking an individual who in our story was not linked to any spending decisions whatsoever. All this, seemingly, on the basis of a single quote by a disgruntled Labour councillor halfway down the text ("clearly socialism starts at home and socialists have very expensive tastes") that anyone paying attention will have noticed I cut from Thursday's print edition, which went to press several hours before the row began, because it didn't make a lot of sense and made the story too long.

All the party has succeeded in doing by attacking us is to draw attention to its own in-fighting; to its worrying inability to distinguish an enemy from a critical friend; and to that quote, which we now actually have printed.

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Camden Labour's internal feud, unlike the story we published last week, is not in the public interest. It, like the bullying, needs to stop.