Noth­ing good about ex-MP’s dou­ble U-turn

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others -

There’s cer­tainly no love lost be­tween Kent Con­ser­va­tives and the for­mer MP Mark Reck­less, who has an­nounced a kind of “re-de­fec­tion” from Ukip. The ex-Rochester and Strood MP may have reached an ar­range­ment – or mar­riage of con­ve­nience – with the Tories in Wales but he couldn’t be fur­ther from a rap­proche­ment with the Kent party.

Ash­ford MP Damian Green art­fully summed up the feel­ing among par­lia­men­tary col­leagues by re­count­ing how his mother had al­ways told him that if he could find noth­ing nice to say about a per­son, then he should say noth­ing at all and there­fore he would be say­ing noth­ing at all.

You have to ad­mire the chutz­pah of Labour’s John McDon­nell who in­sisted the party could do well in the county coun­cil elec­tion dur­ing a cam­paign visit to Kent.

De­spite plung­ing in the polls, he re­mained de­fi­antly buoy­ant as he toured Grave­sham and Folke­stone to drum up sup­port ahead of the May poll.

It was left to Labour group leader Gor­don Cowan to in­ject a touch of re­al­ism, telling sup­port­ers that so far as KCC was con­cerned, the party’s main aim was to re­place Ukip as the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion at County Hall.

Given where the party are, that would cer­tainly be an achieve­ment.

If Ukip can do half as well as it did at the 2013 KCC elec­tion, it will prob­a­bly be sat­is­fied.

Much de­pends on its pur­ple prin­ci­pal­ity, oth­er­wise known as Thanet, where the out­come is typ­i­cally un­pre­dictable.

One is­sue the party will need to ad­dress is who will be the group leader since Roger Latch­ford is stand­ing down. Our money is on a run-off be­tween the hir­sute Mike Bal­dock and the leader of Thanet coun­cil, Chris Wells. As­sum­ing both win their seats, that is. And if they don’t then a good bet could be the cur­rent Thanet coun­cil deputy leader Lin Fair­brass.

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