Havering Councillor: Keith Prince (Con: Squirrels Heath)

Keith is a superstar in Havering’s Town Hall. He’s been a councillor for 32 years in various places. He began his career in Havering, moved to Redbridge becoming Leader of the Council, and then a GLA councillor.1 He’s still a GLA councillor – he was re-elected in 2021 – with a massive majority. And in May, 2022 was elected as a Havering councillor. What’s going on?

Keith, like all successful politicians, can smell political blood. While campaigning last year he noticed Romford Conservatives weren’t a happy ‘Band of Brothers’. So, he did the obvious thing and seized the opportunity. Damian White was ousted from his seat in Squirrels Heath. He inserted himself into the newly created vacancy and was elected in May, 2022. Keith is simultaneously a GLA and Havering councillor. Maybe he doesn’t believe that being a Havering councillor is time consuming?

Keith has made two rare misjudgments. He thought Havering would be ruled by the Conservatives and he’d be Leader. Now he’s in Sadiq Khan’s GLA and is a councillor with an HRA2 Administration in Havering. It’s enough to make a grown man weep.

If Romford Conservatives weren’t a happy ‘Band of Brothers’ in 2021, it’s hard to imagine what it’s like now. And they don’t even have Allowances to keep them interested any more.

Addendum: Register of Interests

Keith’s mentor Boris Johnson, aka The Great White Shark, has taught him to be unworried about trivialities like legal obligations. Keith still hasn’t filled in his Register of Interests, which was due no later than 2nd June 2022.3

Notes

1 He’s GLA councillor for Havering and Redbridge neatly drawing together the threads of his career.

2 HRA is the Havering Residents’ Association

3 As of 4th July 2022 Councillor details – Councillor Keith Prince | The London Borough Of Havering

Keith Prince and Havering’s ‘Living in Havering’ magazine, April 2019

Keith Prince is Havering’s1 Conservative GLA member and was awarded a full page in Havering Council’s taxpayer funded Living in Havering magazine, April 2019.2 As he wrote this himself he must believe it puts him in a good light, in which case he’s made a tragic error of judgement. It shows him to be an appallingly ineffective representative for Havering.

Keith’s article begins by quoting himself. “On a daily basis, I fight for the transport upgrades that we so desperately need in Havering.” This is to get the reader in the mood for his dynamism. Even allowing for the hyperbole of a politician on the make, this is ludicrous. Keith was chair of the GLA’s Transport committee in the year 2017- 8. He was a ‘mover and shaker’ but nothing moved or shook, at least not so far as Havering was concerned. Perhaps Redbridge benefited?

Keith, rightly, identifies two major problems in Havering. The ‘perennial’ Gallows Corner fly-over and Ardleigh Green Bridge roadworks. Keith claims to have been ‘banging the drum’ over Gallows Corner. Well I went through the papers for his year as chair and found nothing.3 Perhaps I missed something- “a drum being banged” “…TfL’s feet being held to the fire”- for example.

Keith has moved out of the shadows with this article. In broad daylight he looks ineffective. Now he has a motive for improving his performance. He’s got two weeks before the next election, which in a Johnson sleaze atmosphere might be bracing.

1 Strictly speaking he is Havering and Redbridge’s GLA member. So perhaps he’s putting in more time on their problems to Havering’s detriment

2 https://issuu.com/haveringcouncil/docs/5617_living_185_issuu_ p18 This full page ‘advert’ would normally cost £1400.

3 All I could find was an exchange between Mayor Johnson and Roger Evans, Havering’s previous GLA member, on the 22nd October 2014, where Johnson promised to come to Havering to look for himself. Evans grovelled to Johnson in an entertaining way.