Reading West Labour Favourite Stumbles
Several blogs have indicated that Waltham Forest Councillor Naz Sarkar is currently the favourite to take the Reading West Labour nomination. This seems to stem from Cllr Sarkar’s own success in self promotion where on his own (slightly presumptuous) website he informs us that he has the nominations for the three Reading West wards that have so far expressed a preference (Tilehurst, Southcote and Minster).
However his own local newspaper in Walthamstow does not seem to think so highly of him. Today they described him as “gaffe-prone” and highlighted that he is now on his THIRD attempt to secure a Parliamentary seat. However, a correspondent assures me that he has also tried for Wolverhampton, which would make Reading West actually his FOURTH attempt.
Now there is nothing wrong in trying for several seats but it would seem that in doing so Cllr Sarkar tends to stretch the truth as to his residency. He also seems to see his candidacy as “an opportunity for Naz” rather than a chance to represent and serve his potential constituents. I am also told that on more than one occasion he has failed to turn up to his own ward surgeries, leaving people who have come to see him wondering about his commitment to fulfil his duties as their elected representative.
Other local bloggers have identified two local Reading Councillors as having thrown their hats into the ring. The most up to date list I can compile to date is therefore:
Cllr Mark Bennett – Lambeth
Cllr Lisa Homan – Hammersmith & Fulham (ex Sutton & Cheam PPC 2001)
Raj Chadha – Camden
Cllr Naz Sarkar – Waltham Forest
Cllr Akhtar Zaman – Bolton
Cllr Graeme Hoskin – Reading (corrected)
Cllr Paul Gittings – Reading
This promises to be an interesting selection campaign!