Richard Tracey: Tory triumph or tall tale?

A Tory London Assembly Member wants his party to take the credit for a brief drop in London’s unemployment figures, while the annual results show a different picture.

Richard Tracey, Conservative London Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth (and a former Conservative Minister and MP for Surbiton) proudly wrote to the South London Press in March 2009:

“London has bucked the tragedy of rising unemployment – it fell between November and January, whereas the UK as a whole saw a rise.

It is no coincidence that unemployment in London has actually fallen in the last three months, given taxpayer-focused Conservative administrations run so much of it.

Richard Tracey

London Assembly member for Merton and Wandsworth”

In a rather desperate attempt to make a political point he grabbed at the very limited unemployment figures between November 2008 and January 2009 for evidence. The letter was even titled ‘Tory Triumph.’

Well, five months later, the Tories must be less triumphant.

This week the South London Press has the front-page headline: ‘Unemployment rockets in South London’.

South Londoners (including Richard Tracey’s constituents) are told:

“The number of jobless South Londoners has increased beyond the national rate, new figures have revealed.

According to statistics released yesterday, some areas have seen three times as many out of work compared with last year.

The figures, published by the Office of National Statistics, show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance doubled nationally in the 12 months after July 9, 2008 – from 700,000 to more than 1,500,000.

But South London parliamentary constituencies are showing rises of 200 per cent – with numbers of jobseekers often more than tripling.”

South London jobseekers' figures

So with Battersea constituency seeing a rise in unemployment from 952 in July 2008 to 2,450 in July 2009 and Tooting seeing a rise from 929 in July 2008 to 2,330 in July 2009 – it seems some of the greatest increases have actually been in Richard Tracey’s patch.

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This entry was posted in London and News.


  • Given Dick Tracey was the only Tory MP to lose a non target seat in 1997 this isn’t news. I’m not convinced giving any more publicity to someone quite incapable in public office is fair. The man is to be more pitied than scolded.

    How the Tories ever decided to select him in their safest GLA seat is a mystery – even though his wife has been a quite successful (if contraversial) cllr in Wandsworth.

  • Dan, I don’t know. Stories like this are rather comical really however it is hypocritical of the Tories to criticise Brown for his outrageous lies when they do the same themselves.

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