LondonNet News Headlines
10/12/03
Blair Blow Over Islington
- Voters kick out Labour in PM's former borough

TONY BLAIR's problems with London were thrown into fresh relief last night when Islington voters, who once included Blair himself, dumped the Labour Party from local government.

The north London borough is now in the hands of the centrist Liberal Democrats who hold 27 seats on Islington Council compared to Labour's 25, the first time in 27 years Labour has lost control.

While usually espousing similar centreground policies to New Labour, Lib Dems are increasingly wise to the trick of outflanking their more nationally powerful rivals on the left flank by making noises about poverty and freedom of information.

Such sneaky politicking is undoubtedly cynical but it does expose a truth that Ken Livingstone's popularity also reveals, namely that London's electorate is far more radical than Blair would like. This would suggest that even if the party's hierarchy succeed in manoeuvring Livingstone out of the Mayor race, London will continue to be a thorn in Blair's left side.




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