Off early to the Met Police Authority for full authority meeting and pre-meeting interview with London Today. Today was the day that cannabis would be declassified from a B to C drug.
I had issued a news release about asking the Met Police Commissioner how he was going to make sure that the confusion surrounding the new law was clarified for all officers so that people would not be subject to ‘postcode policing’. Whatever you think of this move – it is clear that you simply cannot have people treated differently in different boroughs or simply by different police officers. Nightmare scenarios.
I did the interview and tackled Deputy Commissioner Ian Blair in the meeting. He tried to reassure the Authority that there would be equal treatment and that the guidelines and training were in place. I still think confusion will reign and that this move by the government is neither fish nor fowl – but a step in the right direction.
I then rush back to Stroud Green to stomp the icy streets knocking up to try and get our supporters to go out and vote. Stomp around to 9pm when polls close – except for one minor disaster. Get a phonecall on my mobile from youngest daughter to say she has arrived home from school and forgotten her key and is freezing on doorstep. Panic – as don’t have any means to get home and let her in and don’t want to lose any time on the door steps.
Luckily, another activist was just going home by car and offered to take me to Highgate where I live.
Found daughter shivering and nasty colour – let her in and fumed off. Dug my car out (hate driving at best of times let alone in icy conditions and my road was pure ice) and drove back to Stroud Green Committee Room.
I was waiting there when the polls closed to take anyone straggling back to the Town Hall for the count. Simon Hughes turned up at about 9.10pm, having been babysitting for a woman whose door he had knocked on and who had said she couldn’t vote because of the baby. So he had said he would sit with the babe while she voted. Which he did! Typical Simon!
Then I drove a car load to the Civic Centre for the count. I was up in the gallery watching as were the other parties who were not actually down in the chamber itself as counting agents. Very soon after the first ballot box was emptied it was clear we had a landslide victory – but I was in shock.
Had not really felt this astonishing result looming on the doorstep. At about 6pm I had begun to feel we might possibly just win – but we won hugely with a swing of 29%. Massive – delivering a real body blow to Labour and for that matter, the Greens who had this as one of their top targets in London.
Laura Edge, our LibDem candidate got 1135, Labour 408, Greens 403 and Tories 166.
An amazing result – so we all skidaddled back to my house for some champagne. It was a really happy night!