Harrow will be one of the more closely fought council battles. Labour won overall control last time in 2010 but have since imploded leaving the council with a minority Conservative administration. If Labour do worse than in 2010 this will be a concern to them in terms of the General Election next year. Both constituencies are marginals – Harrow East held by the Conservatives, Harrow West by Labour.
Yet it seems likely Labour to me that will perform worse than last time – this year there is an almost full slate of independent Labour candidates going into battle against the official ones.
Furthermore confidence in the Labour Party has taken a further jolt by them choosing a candidate who is a convicted fraudster.
The Harrow Observer reports:
“The revelation that one of their candidates in the upcoming election was forced to wear an electronic tag by a judge after pleading guilty to defrauding Harrow Council in 2007 has left the party’s leader preparing for crisis talks with those responsible for selecting him.
“Yogalingam Dayanamby will be announced as a candidate in the Canons ward later today by Labour, and has already been featured in their manifesto, however what the party did not know was that he has previously been found to have falsely claimed £811.93 from Harrow Council.”
Cllr Susan Hall, the Conservative leader of Harrow Council, said:
“Since 2010, residents in two different wards in Harrow have suffered the embarrassment of seeing their Labour councillors receive cautions and criminal convictions for the possession of indecent images of children and fraud, so at least there can be a degree of relief that this was discovered before the election.
“I’m sure residents will make up their own minds about how it reflects on Labour to have someone who has defrauded the council and therefore taxpayers standing as a candidate.
“Labour talked tough on benefit fraud when they were in power; will they now denounce one of their own?”
Labour have now suspended their candidate and said hey were unaware of the incident. But should not have Googled him?