The recent battle between myself and Sadiq Khan to become Tooting’s MP was a positive one, focussing on national policies and local campaigns.
Just 5 days on and Tooting is back under the political microscope, but this time the mood in Tooting is less optimistic, with residents feeling let down by Sadiq Khan’s announcement that he’ll run for Mayor.
David Lammy and Diane Abbott were honest with their constituents in the run up to May 7th, saying they would be running for Mayor, trusting their constituents to make a fully informed decision about who they wanted to represent them as MP.
Tessa Jowell stood down as MP to assist her efforts for the nomination.
Unfortunately the residents of Tooting weren’t given all the facts for General Election day, since unlike his Labour party rivals, Sadiq Khan didn’t say he would run for Mayor, nor did he even confirm he was interested in the 2016 contest – rather, he said Tooting was his number one priority.
Now, just a few days later, we find out we have an MP who will be campaigning flat out for to be Mayor and won’t be around to tackle the considerable challenges that Tooting will face in the months to come.
Sadiq Khan has serious questions to answer and I hope this time he does give us a straight answer. If he had plans to run pre-election, then why wasn’t he honest with his constituents in the way that Abbott and Lammy were?
If he had no such plans, then how does he explain the uncovered campaign activity which pre-dates the election by several months? Under what circumstances going forward would he choose to remain the MP for Tooting?
Many times Sadiq Khan has correctly reminded us that voters are distrustful about MPs and that our Parliamentarians need to raise their game. It’s sadly ironic therefore that his recent actions will stoke further cynicism among voters.
I sincerely hope he sets the record straight in the days to come.
Dan Watkins was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Tooting at the 2015 General Election