Cllr Jessica Asato (left) and Cllr Kate Groucutt
Published: 6 July, 2012
by ANDREW JOHNSON
THE Lib Dems have accused the Labour Party of using the Town Hall as a career launch pad as a third councillor elected for the first time just two years ago bids for a parliamentary seat.
Kate Groucutt, Labour ward councillor for Mildmay, announced yesterday that she was on the shortlist to be selected to fight Cardiff South and Penarth seat for Labour.
Current Cardiff South Labour MP Alun Michael is to step down later this year to try to become the first elected police commissioner for South Wales.
Earlier this year, Lucy Rigby, a lawyer, resigned as Labour councillor for Holloway, triggering an expensive by-election, after being selected to fight the Lincoln parliamentary seat at the next general election.
And Jessica Asato, ward councillor for St George’s in Tufnell, has applied to represent Norwich North, Lib Dem leader Cllr Terry Stacy said.
The Tribune understands that Cllr Asato has let it be known to party colleagues that she is actively seeking a parliamentary seat and will step down from the council if successful.
All three were first elected in 2010. Cllr Groucutt, deputy chief executive of children’s charity the Day Care Trust, is Labour’s chief whip at the Town Hall, and sits on two committees.
Cllr Asato is a political adviser to shadow Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell, vice-chairwoman of the Fabian Society and a member of three Islington committees.
Neither holds a position on the ruling executive.
“The people of Islington are being treated as voting fodder to help ambitious young Labour Party members cut their teeth before they leave the borough,” Cllr Stacy said.
“Lucy Rigby, Jessica Asato and now Kate Groucutt, who has barely done anything for two years.
“My party cannot be excused. Sarah Teather was an Islington councillor before being elected for Brent.
"But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth whoever it is.”
Neither Cllrs Asato or Groucutt responded to requests for a comment.