'We have the unedifying prospect of almost two months of a Tory leadership contest'
Luke Cawley Harrison, leader of the opposition, Haringey Council
- Credit: PA
It will come as news to few people that, come the beginning of September, our country will have a new prime minister.
Despite his initial, Trump-esque refusal to admit that he no longer had the confidence of the people, or even his own party, to run the country, Boris Johnson did finally bow to the inevitable and tender his resignation as prime minister.
He will leave Downing Street having completely debased his office, and embarrassed the country he was supposed to serve. And now we have the unedifying prospect of almost two months of a Tory leadership contest, fought not over real issues like rampant inflation, but who can propose the biggest fantasy tax cut, or who can portray themselves as the most “anti-woke”.
Unfortunately, as many in Haringey will know, standards in public life have also been low locally.
Our local Labour Party became a hotbed for antisemitism in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, and, despite claiming to have turned a corner, a newly-elected Labour councillor in Fortis Green was suspended for anti-Jewish and anti-Asian racism just last month.
Of course it shouldn’t be like that. Those elected by the people should not cling on like limpets to the trappings of power, refusing to do the honourable thing and give way when they have done something wrong or are incapable of representing their constituents - they should do the decent thing and resign. And, to be fair, some do.
A Labour councillor elected in May in Hampstead resigned after just a few days after realising he wasn’t able to devote enough time to his constituents, and Neil Parish, the Conservative MP caught watching porn in the House of Commons owned up to his behaviour and quit.
In both those cases, Liberal Democrats gained the seats on big swings as residents flocked to the party they know will always work hard for their communities, and fight for the issues that matter most to those they are elected to represent.
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Luke Cawley-Harrison is councillor for Crouch End ward and leader of the Lib Dem Group.