Damian has had a stellar career, which is now ending. First elected in 2010, he became deputy-Leader, 2014-18, and Leader of the Council, 2018-22. In 2019 he nearly became an MP in the Boris Johnson landslide.1 That was his finest hour.
Damian controlled Conservative councillors with pot-of-gold politics. The allowance system was manipulated to ‘reward’ them. He relied on three RA2 councillors, from Harold Wood, for his working majority. They too were richly rewarded.
The 2022 election was disastrous for Damian. Havering’s new coalition Administration3 didn’t include Conservatives. They lost power for the first time in 20 years. Collectively, losing the election cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds in allowances. Damian lost thousands of pounds as well as his status as Leader. It’s debatable which was worse.
Since the 2022 election, Damian has become an absentee councillor even though he remains Leader of the Conservatives. His attendance at committees is an appalling 33%.4 It could be that he is having a gigantic sulk. What’s certain is that if he was an employee he’d be sacked.
The Conservative group’s Leadership election in May should see Damian replaced by someone more dynamic or, at the very least, visible. A likely successor is Keith Prince, seen here with Andrew Rosindell at a St George’s Day celebration.
1 Damian White Scuppered by Nigel Farage! 12th December, 2019 – Politics in Havering
2 RA = Resident Association
3 Havering Residents’ Association as the major group along with Labour to make numbers up to 28
4 Attendance record – Councillor Damian White | The London Borough Of Havering This is for the last six months up to April 2023
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