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Former Islington Labour mayor defects to the Tories

Cllr Rakhia Ismail backs Conservative London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey

09 November, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Cllr Rakhia Ismail (right) with Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey (centre) 

THE former mayor of Islington has defected from the Labour Party to the Tories.

Cllr Rakhia Ismail has today (Monday) publicly backed the Conservative candidate in the London Mayoral election Shaun Bailey.

Cllr Ismail, who served as a Labour councillor in Holloway ward for almost a decade, stepped down as Islington mayor in September and then quit the Party accusing the borough’s leadership of “oppression” and “discriminatory behaviour”.

In a campaign video released on Mr Bailey’s social media platforms, Cllr Ismail criticises London Mayor Sadiq Khan for his record on knife crime.

In the video, she said: “It’s going to be tough for me to actually cross the floor, but if that (is what it) takes to save a child in London then I will and that’s why I have joined the campaign of Shaun Bailey.”

She told the Tribune: “It’s sad and a shame how far the Labour Party can push their loyal councillors.

“This will help to make changes for the better, but the scars will be with me forever.”

A spokeswoman for Islington Labour Party said: “This is incredibly disappointing news for the people of Holloway Ward, who elected Councillor Ismail as a Labour Candidate, with a clear mandate to help make Islington a fairer place.

“As Councillor Ismail has previously said herself, the Tory government has failed Islington on the issues that matter most, including tackling the route causes of knife crime and delivering desperately needed, genuinely affordable and council homes for local people. The last thing our borough needs is a Tory councillor supporting Tory austerity.”

A London Labour source said: “We will not take any lessons on tackling crime from the Tory Mayoral candidate who oversaw huge cuts to the Met police and youth services when he was the Downing Street Crime Adviser – and who is still refusing to ask his Tory mates in Government to refund the Met police for the cost of tackling Covid-19 which will mean yet more Tory austerity inflicted on our police.”

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