Finishing off at the MPA

Off to the MPA (having resigned a couple of weeks ago) to lead a deputation from Highgate who have submitted a question. Highgate Tube is out of action – closed – so have to take car. Looks like I won’t make it – but I do and arrive just in time.

The issue is that with Highgate being split between three boroughs, no single police commander will ever rate it important enough to get a Safer Neighbourhood Team. So the deputation wants the three police commanders to be given a nudge and a way to be found for such a team to be introduced in the area.

The reaction of my erstwhile colleagues on the MPA is hilarious. Kind of – how dare I? I dare.

Toby Harris (Labour and former GLA member himself) joins with the Tories in trying to infer that I am a johnny come lately to this and it was really started by Tories. Nonsense – as the chair of the MPA points out, I have been working on this for months and raised it on his borough visit to Haringey months and months ago. It’s another example of the rather cynical Labour and Tory love-in we often get in Haringey – they’re both so scared of losing yet more elections to the Lib Dems they like to talk each other up in public.

Anyway – it sparks a jolly good debate – and a few promises. After which melee the MPA Chair asks me to join him and makes a presentation to me with a gift and thanks me for all the hard work. ‘Ah – so now you’re being nice to me’!

I say thank you and how much I have enjoyed my time on the MPA. I also – parting shot – say that they won’t be losing me entirely as I have been put in the LibDem Home Affairs Team! Joy all round……..

In the afternoon trail round dismally looking at the few offices which are still left in Parliament. I am almost bottom of the heap and will be left with shoebox, far from the Commons and far from staff by the look of it. I lost my place in office allocations because I had to go to Leeds to do Question Time.

Then I have to meet Mark Littlewood from the LibDem Press Office who runs through the whole media operation with me. Coming from high profile on the Assembly, I have a lot of media experience now – so much of what we cover is for form. Mark seems very on the ball and a good thing from what I can see.

In the evening – pop into Valerie and Clive Silbigers’ farewell party. They are moving to France. The first meeting Haringey Lib Dem meeting I ever went to was in Valerie’s flat. She has been a stalwart of the Party for over 30 years and is currently President of London Region – an unsung hero of the party to whom I am grateful for her love and support over the years. And in this election – whereas she has always done front of desk at Simon Hughes’ campaign HQ – this time she did mine! We wish them all the very best in their new life in France.