Havering’s Register of Interests: Three Case Studies

Every councillor has a legal obligation to fill out the Register of Interests. The government regard this as so important that if statements are false, it’s potentially a criminal act. Every councillor knows this.

The Register must be completed within 28 days of the election, which, this year, falls on the 2nd June 2022. Anyone not filling in the Register isn’t meeting their legal obligations.

Philip Ruck (HRA: Cranham) apparently hasn’t filled in his form, which is a significant failure. Philip’s a new councillor but Keith Prince (Con: Squirrels Heath) has a long and distinguished career behind him. He too hasn’t filled in his Register of Interests which makes me suspicious. Keith’s GLA entry is overflowing with detail. Can it be that they’ve filled in their forms and been let down by the Council? If not, then it’s a reprehensible failure.1

Sue Ospreay (Con: Rainham and Wennington)2 signed a blank form, which is legally binding. It can be tested under the true/false criteria. On the basis of the Register statement of Jacqueline McArdle (Con: same ward) Sue’s statement is false. Jacqueline received donations from the Conservative Party. It’s highly unlikely that Sue didn’t also receive a donation.

The Register of Interests3 is a vital part of democracy. The Councillors who apparently failed their legal obligation, without a reasonable explanation, should lose their allowances. Sue should be given the opportunity to revise her form if it’s deemed necessary.

Notes

1 Councillor details – Councillor Philip Ruck | The London Borough Of Havering This entire discussion is based on the information held on this site. The information was accessed on June 21st 2022. For other councillors go to the relevant entry. For Keith Prince see for his GLA statement Keith Prince – Register of interests | London City Hall

2 mgConvert2PDF.aspx (havering.gov.uk)

3 MPs also fill in a Register of Interests. This one is for Jon Cruddas (Lab) (Dagenham and Rainham) House of Commons – The Register of Members’ Financial Interests (3 May 2022: Cruddas, Jon ) (parliament.uk) For other MPs just fill in the relevant name.

Havering: Politics as Friendly Understandings

Eight elections since 1990 have resulted in No Overall Control. Conservatives have ruled Havering since 2002 but only once as a majority party. On every other occasion they’ve used HRA councillors. The last Administration used Harold Wood’s three councillors for four years. The 2022 election has put the Havering Residents’ Association (HRA) in the driving seat.

Damian White was aware of the challenges of getting a majority in Havering and acted accordingly. He believed Rainham was vulnerable. He put in place a team of local Conservatives and won it. The Rainham result was announced and Damian was vindicated. Unfortunately, he hadn’t thought the unthinkable. Romford wasn’t the citadel he imagined and Conservatives lost three seats. Bang went his plans and the ‘nightmare’ of an HRA – Labour Friendly Understanding became a distinct possibility.

Andrew Rosindell could tell Damian a thing or two. In 1996 Havering had a Rainbow Alliance.2 HRA’s Louise Sinclair led an Administration that included Conservatives and Socialists. The Socialists were, by Havering standards, hard left. Andrew was voting with Socialists in a joint Administration. Goodbye political purity! Labour enjoyed watching Del Smith influence them for two years.

Havering has spoken. And what they’ve said is they like Friendly Understandings. If the young Andrew could do it for the greater good then so can anyone.

Addendum: A case for Proportional Representation?

Abstentions: 65% of the electorate

Notes

1 Local Elections 2022: Havering Council live results | The London Borough Of Havering

2 Rainbow Alliance – Politics in Havering

Andrew Rosindell: Parliament, 14th December, 2021

Dr Luke Evans (Con) While masks are of course inconvenient, they are a relatively easy way of reducing the risk of not only covid, but other viruses such as flu. Let us not forget that the number of flu admissions places a huge amount of pressure on the NHS, so a reduction in both conditions—as evidenced—makes sense to me.”1 Hansard 14th December 2021

Andrew believes making mask wearing compulsory is an infringement of liberty. Let’s see if Andrew’s position is coherent.

Enoch Powell was a philosopher-politician and a true libertarian. In 1973 he argued against mandatory helmets for motor cyclists because suicide wasn’t illegal.2 Powell’s position was that reckless behaviour sometimes results in death but so what? That’s the price of reckless behaviour sometimes. Wearing masks during a pandemic isn’t being reckless with your own life, it’s being reckless with the lives of other people. In brief, it’s a Public Health issue.

Let’s imagine Andrew’s infected, unknowingly, with Covid-19’s new potent form, Omicron. A simple way of reducing his capacity to infect others is to wear a mask.3 He’s against this and refused to vote for mandatory mask wearing. He claims it’s an infringement of his ‘liberty’. The liberty to infect others.

Covid-19 effects people differently. The impact ranges from nothing to death. The Public Health response is to protect the population from known danger. Protective measures includes wearing masks.

Dr Evans said masks are “inconvenient” but “a relatively easy way of reducing…risk”. Not a magic bullet but important during a pandemic. Andrew is indulging in political posturing.

Responsible leadership demands that the public good triumphs over personal inclination. This is especially true for our MPs.

Notes

1 Parliamentary debate on Public Health with four votes on regulations for the current pandemic Public Health – Hansard – UK Parliament For the actual resolution on face masks see “That the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (SI, 2021, No. 1400), dated 9 December 2021.” There were 41 No votes including Andrew

2 MOTOR CYCLISTS (HELMETS) (Hansard, 5 April 1973) (millbanksystems.com)

3 Now mask wearing has been legislated for there’s no reason to believe he won’t obey the law.

Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford

Andrew went to Marshalls Park school. He was passionate about politics, becoming a councillor at the earliest opportunity for Collier Row.

Thrillingly he became MP in 2001, despite another Blair landslide. Then it went wrong. Twenty years have passed and he’s still a backbencher. How do bored MPs kill the time? Andrew’s preference is foreign travel, especially when it’s free and legitimate.1 A recent week to San Marino involved a £1,000 for food. This is bad politics but Andrew’s calculation is he’ll escape electoral punishment.

Andrew’s become a right-wing Maverick. He joined the European Research Group (ERG). They campaigned for Brexit and against Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May. Andrew recently joined the Covid Recovery Group.2 This is an unsuccessful version of ERG. Unsuccessful because people die from Covid but are only economically unwell from Brexit.

His comments on Universal Credit were a car crash, I think there are people that quite like getting the extra £20 but maybe they don’t need it. He then defended MPs with second jobs. We have to be careful about this, we have to realise we are dealing with human beings who have families and responsibilities.”3 This is toxic. One MP earns a million pounds annually from his second job.

The purchase of Debenhams by Asian businessmen was unfortunate, “Because the Asian mall does not merit a change of use for the building, both the council and I are unable to prevent the centre from going ahead, I am afraid.” (my emphasis)4This is ‘dog whistle’ politics where politicians silently appeal to racist opinions.

Andrew is a very capable constituency MP. But is he losing his touch?

Notes

1 PressReader.com – Digital Newspaper & Magazine Subscriptions see also Romford MP Andrew Rosindell took free trip to San Marino | Romford Recorder

2 European Research Group – Wikipedia and also see Fifty rebel Tory MPs form anti-lockdown Covid Recovery Group (cityam.com) On the 30th November 2021 Andrew missed the vote on the compulsory wearing of masks unlike most of the CRG Public Health – Hansard – UK Parliament Perhaps this explains his non-vote, “No 10 is reportedly threatening to withdraw funding for their constituencies if they don’t toe the party line in Commons votes”. Government is acting like a mobster to its own MPs – Good Law Project Subsequently Andrew has reaffirmed his CRG position which makes it all the odder that he didn’t take the opportunity to exercise his vote. My position is clear ‘No More’ restrictions -Andrew Rosindell MP. – The Havering Daily

3 Andrew Rosindell criticised for comments on Universal Credit | Romford Recorder see also Tory MP’s defence of second jobs is compared to universal credit response (thelondoneconomic.com) As part of the MPs expenses scandal in 2009 Andrew’s second home was criticised although it was entirely legitimate at that time, “…claiming £125,000 in second home expenses for a London flat, while designating his boyhood home 17 miles away as his main address.” Tory MP used taxpayer-funded stationery for 250 birthday party invites – Mirror Online

4 Romford’s Debenhams is now an Asian shopping mall and residents are divided – MyLondon Andrew has no role in Havering’s planning process and therefore can’t prevent anything.

Andrew Rosindell’s Problem

Andrew rebelled over Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations. He joined the European Research Group (ERG) with Julia Lopez to force a change.1 Then Covid-19 struck. Once again he rebelled as successive lockdowns were inflicted. Restrictions are probably going to be extended missing the 21st June target date.

Andrew has been disappointed by Conservative prime ministers twice. He said in parliament, “….I cannot justify…a fundamental assault on….liberties and livelihoods. Removing people’s most fundamental rights and freedoms and confining them to their homes is a political decision.” (my emphasis)2 Andrew objected to Johnson’s focus on Covid-19. He said other illnesses were neglected causing untold harm.

Johnson sacked him, “Romford MP Andrew Rosindell….called his sacking “counterproductive and bizarre” as he hit out at Mr Johnson in a Twitter rant. Over the past week he has been highly critical of the Prime Minister’s three tier lockdown plan, which he said would inflict huge damage on the economy and people’s mental health.”3

Andrew believed in Johnson and has been disappointed. Johnson’s sell-out Brexit deal has left agriculture, fishing, northern Ireland and Wales in total disarray.4 Meanwhile Covid-19 has shown him at his dithering (corrupt?) worst. Johnson has out-sourced policy to advisors to Andrew’s dismay.

How much more can he take?

1 See Andrew Rosindell MP, Romford – TheyWorkForYou See Julia Lopez MP, Hornchurch and Upminster – TheyWorkForYou She joined ERG as a career move, like Johnson.

2 Selected Quotes: Covid-19 Debate 6th January 2021 | Odeboyz’s Blog (oedeboyz.com)

3 Boris Johnson sacks Tory MP Andrew Rosindell for voting against new COVID restrictions | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

4 There are question marks about the damage Johnson’s Brexit deal has caused to the city of London and thousands of Havering jobs.

Hornchurch and Upminster’s MP: Julia Lopez

Julia Lopez’s political career began with her strutting along Downing Street with ‘secret’ papers. Eager photographers who’d been tipped off, zoomed in, making her front page news. Her reward was Hornchurch and Upminster. She’s held it since 2017.

Julia joined the extremist European Research Group (ERG) in parliament. This ideological group had an ‘all or nothing’ view of Brexit. In pursuit of their goals they wrecked Theresa May’s career and Johnson succeeded her. He won in December, 2019 with the slogan Get Brexit Done. Regardless of this, Johnson doesn’t have a Brexit implementation plan and negotiations have stalled. Unless Julia is a True Believer in the ERG view of Brexit, she may be dismayed by this outcome.

Julia became a minister in 2020 and in a Brexit related speech said Britain had abright future.She explained how stalled negotiations would lead to her desired ‘No Deal’.

“As the Prime Minister has set out, there needs to be an agreement with the EU by the time of the European Council meeting on 15 October in order for it to be in force before the end of the transition period on 31 December. By then, if there is no agreement, there will not be a free trade agreement.”** (my emphasis)

(Her statement is ministerial hogwash as negotiations continue as of 14th November, 2020).

Julia’s political career began with brazen opportunism. She’s progressed from destroying Theresa May’s career to ministerial office. Now she’s faced by the 1st January, 2021 cliff edge, where there will, according to Julia, be a “bright future.” Let’s hope her careerism isn’t paid for by the people of Hornchurch and Upminster in higher food prices and delayed medicines.

Notes

* For Julia Dockerill’s (Lopez) ‘accidental-on-purpose’ revelations see https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3979302/No-single-market-Norway-style-deal-Extraordinary-blunder-Downing-Street-FINALLY-gives-glimpse-government-s-Brexit-tactics.html

** Parliamentary speech 5th October 2020

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-10-05/debates/915A231C-FE1E-4E7D-A512-060DB8C10F94/details#contribution-2C65C14D-9F0F-4702-B1EC-818A76D41055

Sources

https://www.julialopez.co.uk/news

See also https://www.julialopez.co.uk/news?page=3

Relevant blogs from the archive

Havering MP: Julia Lopez: the Brexit Debate, 6th December, 2018

Havering’s Brexit MPs: Are They Conservatives?

Andrew Rosindell, Julia Lopez and Nigel Farage: Three Peas, One Pod