Councillor Kate Groucutt’s website page
Published: 20 July, 2012
by ANDREW JOHNSON
A LIB DEM councillor has accused some of Labour’s young intake of 2010 of being elected to the Town Hall on “false pretences” following a spate of applications to be parliamentary candidates.
Tracey Ismail – who was elected in 2006 – added that it was a “worrying trend” that all political parties were putting up as candidates “young go-getting” professional politicians who have never had a “proper job”.
On Saturday, Kate Groucutt, Labour’s ward councillor for Mildmay, was pipped in her attempt to represent the party at the Cardiff and Penarthan by-election triggered by incumbent MP Alun Michael’s bid to be south Wales’s elected police commissioner. The nomination was won by Welsh Oxfam boss Stephen Doughty.
Cllr Groucutt, deputy chief executive of children’s charity the Day Care Trust, campaigned heavily for what would have been her home constituency, setting up a website in which she plugged her credentials as a campaigner for the area. She also changed her Facebook profile photograph to one of her campaigning in the city.
Labour councillor in St George’s ward Jessica Asato, a special advisor to shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell, has put her hat in the ring for the Norwich North constituency’s all-women shortlist.
It has also emerged that last year Councillor Charlynne Pullen, an education researcher who represents Caledonian ward, sought to become candidate for the Milton Keynes South seat while Andy Hull had hoped to take on George Galloway in the recent by-election in Bradford West.
Earlier this year, Councillor Lucy Rigby, a lawyer, resigned after being chosen to be Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Lincolnshire at the next general election, triggering a by-election in Holloway.
Councillor Ismail criticised the haste with which the young councillors appeared to want to abandon their Islington roles. “I was looking at Kate Groucutt’s Twitter feed the other day and it was all about how wonderful Cardiff is and how much she’d like to represent Cardiff,” she said. “And I think: what about the people of Mildmay who voted for you?
“People have ambition. I understand that. But I think it’s a bit much after you’ve just been elected – you’re asking people to elect you on false pretences. In your election material you’re saying: I’m invested in this, I’m going to do my best for this ward. And then 18 months later you’re looking to leave.
“All these young people have what I’d call non-jobs. None have got a proper job. They work for think-tanks, policy groups. None of them have real jobs. They all mean well, but they just live and breathe politics. It’s a worrying trend in all political parties. We have young go-getters.”
The row comes amid Labour Party concerns that too many candidates come from a political background. None of the Labour councillors returned the Tribune’s calls for comment.