Islington Tories ‘confident’ over election chances – despite vandal attacks
Party set to field candidates in all council wards, after offices were daubed with graffiti and plastered with stickers
16 April, 2018 — By Emily Finch
THE Conservative Party’s offices were daubed with graffiti and plastered with stickers ahead of its attempts to win breakthrough seats at Islington’s council elections next month.
A spokesman said the party’s base in Canonbury was twice hit by vandals last month but added: “We left them up because they were anti-fascist stickers and we’re anti-fascist too.”
A spokesman, who did not want to be named, said: “We’re feeling confident about the election. We’ve seen our membership swell since the general election. People are now turned away from Labour with the rise of the far left.”
He added: “There’s a silent minority who are now very keen to resist a far left agenda as it did in Haringey. There are Blairites in Labour and some Lib Dems who are disappointed. We have had some defectors from Labour applying to be candidates.”
While voters wait to see a manifesto of pledges, the Tories have confirmed that the party will be putting forward a full slate of candidates in every ward. The current make-up of the council is 47 Labour seats, and one held by the Greens. A round of hustings is due to take place next week.
The Conservative Party spokesman said the main policy was to increase the number of affordable and social homes in the borough.
He said: “We will provide 500 more affordable homes than Labour and the Lib Dems by 2022 if we are elected.
“We don’t have the same philosophical issue with the private sector as Labour. We are going to create a dynamic market which will see a renewal of housing stock.”
He added: “We can do this because we will overcome the impasse that has come about due to disagreements between local and national planning bodies, which have been political in nature.
“Blue working with Blue will deliver homes for Islington.”
He pointed to the current debate surrounding the Holloway prison site where the Labour council has created a plan to make 50 per cent of homes on the site “genuinely affordable”.
He said: “Labour is at loggerheads on everything to do with the site with the government from unit sizes to the ratio of affordable homes. We can overcome that in ways they can’t.”
Another key policy was to continue paying Town Hall staff the London living wage, currently £10.20 an hour, and to not pay senior staff a wage above that of the prime minister.