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