Camden Labour reels as councillor defects to the Lib Dems‏

Last night Labour’s last councillor in Haverstock ward in Camden resigned his membership of the party and defected to the Liberal Democrats. Councillor Syed Hoque cited the Labour government’s response to the recent fighting in Gaza as central to his decision. He has also described his unhappiness with the Camden Labour group, in particular his belief that those in charge of Camden Labour are rude, arrogant and out of touch with local people.

This takes the number of Camden Liberal Democrat councillors to 24, an all time high. The number of Liberal Democrat councillors in Holborn & St Pancras constituency is now 11, a rise of 1000% from prior to the 2006 borough elections.

Councillor Hoque is by no means the only former Labour supporter in Camden to be feeling let down and disillusioned by a party that seems to have forgotten about ordinary people.

Labour are at rock bottom nationally and losing support every day. In Camden many people feel Labour has taken them for granted for years. Fortunately, all those who believe in ethical foreign policy, defending our civil liberties, and protecting those on the lowest incomes will find a natural home with the Liberal Democrats.

Statement from Councillor Syed Hoque, Haverstock Ward:

The Labour party I joined nearly 20 years ago has changed beyond recognition. I am therefore today resigning my Labour membership and joining the Liberal Democrats.

“Labour’s foreign policies have been a disaster. The decision to support George Bush’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, with false pretences of weapons of mass destruction, has ruined an independent country and killed hundreds and thousands of innocent civilians. This was an astonishing act of aggression, resulting in humanitarian catastrophe and unsettling an entire region.

“Like many others in Camden, I have been deeply upset by the recent invasion of Gaza. Instead of using their influence to bring the fighting to a halt, Gordon Brown and David Miliband have remained silent. Worse still, by refusing to halt Britain’s arms exports to Israel, the British Labour government is fanning the flames of a war which has led to the death of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

“When I joined the Labour party I never expected to be propping up a government that openly advocates war and aggression. I have been impressed by the principled stance of the Liberal Democrats on these important issues. Like the Liberal Democrats, I believe that diplomacy and negotiation are stronger weapons than guns and fighting.

“Here in Camden, I have seen how the hard work of the Liberal Democrats is really helping local people. My ward colleagues Jill Fraser and Matt Sanders work hard all year around making a real effort to listen to residents and do what they can to help. By contrast, many of those running Camden’s Labour party are rude, arrogant, and out of touch with local people.

“I feel thoroughly let down by Labour, and I know that many others in Camden feel the same. I can best serve people in Haverstock by joining the strong local Liberal Democrat team.””

Jo Shaw is the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Holborn and St Pancras.

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  • Another Anonymous 7th Feb '09 - 8:42pm

    If you print, let alone splash, stories like this you’ll end up like the ghastly Liberal Democrat News and frankly this site is better than that. Everyone knows that these sorts of defections run both ways. I could like to over a dozen recent examples of Lib Dems going in various directions. I notice that this guy is in a split ward with 2 LD’s already and we are only 14 months from London elections. Trying to hold his seat ? perhaps not. perhaps he’s one of the minority of defectors who have been on an intellectual journey. But it is a minority.

  • I hope he is a liberal and not just another disillusioned Labour type.

  • I am glad to see more people joining the Liberal Democrats as I did in 2001 from the Labour Party. I am a Liberal Democrat, I don’t know if thats a “Liberal” for Anonymous but how are we ever to grow with people like this carping about Labour types.
    Welcome aboard Councillor Hoque and I hope you feel as liberated as I did by joining this great party!
    Cllr David White, Stockport MBC
    Former Labour Councillor 1996-2001 Lib Dem 2001-
    By the way my ward had three labour Councillors when I moved and now has three Lib Dem Councillors!!!

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