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Monday, 17 October 2011

Let Battle Commence-But Don't Hold Your Breath

Cllr Lightfoot Throws His Hat Into The Ring

left: Leadership material?

Cllr Warwick Lightfoot has told friends that he intends to stand for the Leadership of Kensington and Chelsea when the position becomes vacant. This means that there will be at least four people competing for the post, including Cllr Tim Ahern, Cllr Nick Paget-Brown and Cllr Timothy Coleridge.All four are in the Cabinet and all have voiced concern that the current Leader, Cllr Cockell, has remained in post too long and has become stale. None of them have the courage of their convictions and have been prepared to mount a challenge. Radical change in Hornton Street is required; this pussy footing around is not a good sign. Let's clean out the stables!
Who is best qualified? The question is challenging. Taxpayers need to assure themselves of a few things before deciding
They must insist on a rigid term-no more endless squatting a la Cockell: and a promise to reduce the ludicrously high allowance of £1100 a week engineered by the greedy Cockell with the help of Mr Myers, his minder.
 Two of the candidates are rich and two are poor.  Three have served as Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea. Two are extroverted and two are introverted. Two (Cllr Paget-Brown and Cllr Lightfoot) stood in the election to be West London Representative at the GLA but lost out to Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse.
A shortfall in the line up so far is the absence of a woman candidate-surprising considering the egos in that part of the chamber. Cllr Julie Mills, the current Mayor, thinks she is the bees knees but judging from her performance at the opening of the Portobello Lavatories, she is not leadership material. See
Cllr Fiona Buxton is said to have ability but(sadly) she has ruled herself out because of family commitments. Cllr Joanna Gardiner is ambitious but could not handle the job. Power quickly went to her head during her Mayoral year when she decided to use the Bentley and driver to do her personal shopping: definitely an unsafe pair of hands. Cllr Victoria Borwick stood against Boris Johnson to be the Conservative Mayor of London and came a strong second. She currently serves on the GLA and is a spokesperson for Law and Order and Environment, but her intentions are not known. Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, Cabinet Member for Education and Libraries, has excelled herself as “toad” to the current Leader and has demonstrated no intellectual bandwidth whatsoever. But she thinks mightily of herself.
The dark horse is of course Cllr Daniel Moylan. The oxygen and publicity of a leadership contest might be too tempting for him. The boy, Cllr Fielding Mellen is definitely dust in this contest, which will frustrate his puppet master, Cllr Cockell. The Dame hears that Cllr Lightfoot has promised his close friend Cllr Palmer that he will run his election campaign (just like ex Cllr Phelps ran the Cockell leadership campaign and managed to beat Cllr Moylan by the Chairman’s single casting vote). If Cllr Lightfoot will listen to a gypsy warning, the brain dead (and political liability) Cllr Palmer is not the person to let within a million miles of a contested election.
It is time for the candidates to start their campaigns and tell us why they think they would be a good Leader. With this number of contenders, maybe there should even be a “Primary”. Step forward Cllr Christopher Buckmaster, Chairman of Kensington and Chelsea Conservatives. We need a bit of order in the system.


  1. If there is going to be rough and tumble then Cllr Coleridge is a loser. His patrician approach of "be charming to everybody and in time it will come my way" will not bring home the bacon. He is just too nice - and not nearly tough enough to be a leader.

    Moylan, on the other hand, is a thug and knows it. He also knows the council backwards and understands how to use fear to get results. And maybe the times are right for this kind of leadership, unpleasant though it would be

    Lightfoot is a lightweight

  2. The big difference between Cllr Moylan and Cllr Cockell is that Moylan does not need to be loved

  3. Cllr Palmer as a campaign manager????

    Is Lightweight mad?

  4. It would be comforting to see a Title (or two) on the list

  5. The possibility and idea of Moylan becoming Leader will be anathema to all civilised councillors who want a change of culture.
    There are too many stories ciculating about the man and there is no doubt that they will come to the fore if he puts himself forward.
    Morale amongst cllrs, residents and Association members has never been lower. It was brutally underlined by the miserable turnout and lousy performance of the Norland candidate.
    A safe pair of hands is needed-not some ego obsessed megolomaniac with serious baggage. The man to back Dame is Tim Ahern.

  6. This will be the most important Leadership election that K&C has ever had. The successful candidate will have to navigate the minefield of the Tri Borough arrangements that are currently being put in place.

    The three Boroughs spend about £2 billion every year. A huge reorganisation is underway to integrate line management under three independent political organisations. Projected savings are of the order of £10 million - insignificant in the wider scheme of things. In fact, the experiment will be a disaster, quality of service will nosedive, and costs will soar upwards. Already, budgets are being increased for redundancy and relocation.

    K&C needs a Leader who can fight our corner against the Leaders of Westminster and Hammersmith. The Leader of Hammersmith is a jungle fighter. He has to be because he runs a marginal and the Tories could easily lose at the next local election. His game is one of survival. He will cosy up to fat, lazy and rich K&C and try to suck us dry.

    Our Leadership, with our 70% Tory vote at local elections, could continue with the usual talking shop and let standards slide. Slide plenty. And still get back into power. Or we could elect our own jungle fighter who acts in the interests of residents and fights our corner.

    Moylan is that man

  7. The rumour I have heard is that Cllr Borwick is going to be pushed down the rankings on the Conservative GLA candidates list. That means there is a strong chance she won't be an Assembly Member after next May.

    Given the options she would make a refreshing change, but she probably wouldn't win a Leadership election in RBKC for the same reasons (if the rumour is true) that she is being pushed down the GLA list--too much independent thought.

    As for Cllr Moylan, if he fears that Boris is going to get the boot next year then he needs to find a back up plan. He will have to make up the lost allowance from TfL somehow....

  8. Above all our Borough needs a Leader: a man or woman who leads through example and inspiration. This person is not Daniel Moylan. Moylan is a bully and 'alienator'.
    For once I agree with Up Yours...we need a gent to lead our Borough. Or at least someone who knows how to behave,inspire and represent the highest moral standards.That man is not Moylan. There is something very much of the night about this quote another politico.
    The question will always be asked, 'why was he never able to get to Westminster: the answer will always be that that is just one more mystery.

  9. Moylan!

    Oh no.......

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