Monday, February 18, 2008

Man Libdemologists: Another One Bites the Dust

LOL's coy post of last night about Simon Ashley's frantic attempts at telesales to his own disillusioned councillors was posted ten hours after another of the Lib Dem group had announced their decision to leave and join Manchester Labour. The second to go in 2008.

Cllr Abid Chohan (37) (pictured, courtesy MEN) a solicitor and former Labour member has come back to the fold rather than chasing Cllr Faraz Bhatti and Sajjad Karim MEP into the Tories.

Lib Dem group "leader" Simon Ashley, who has been under-performing for years, is claiming to have "taken the whip away" from Abid ahead of the Sunday High Noon meeting in Cllr Richard Leese's Town Hall office which sealed the deal.

Shortly after petulantly slamming the 'phone down on him - not the greatest persuasion technique in the world.

As Dave Ottewell reports in today's early edition of the Manchester Evening News Cllr Chohan had been selected to sit with Nick Clegg MP at a jolly fundraising dinner this Wednesday Thursday evening in Gorton constituency. And with Abid weighing up his ways out of the miserable Lib Dem group for around three months now Ashley would do well to fall on his sword ahead of Clogg's visit.

The Lib Dems are now in the wonderful position a couple of months out from polling day of not having a clue which of their candidates up for election on 1 May 2008 are planning to switch sides* if and when they win.

And what's more they don't know how many more of the class of 2004 - like Cllr Faraz Bhatti (Con) and Abid Chohan (Lab) - will cross the floor either side of polling day. As we proclaimed at the start of January Bhatti's defection is the gift to Labour that simply keeps right on giving. Both Bhatti and Chohan have until 2011 before they face re-election. Any Lib Dems returned this time who then choose to switch will have until 2012.

* LOL is not prepared at this time to provide a list, let's keep them guessing!


Graeme Smith said...

I did the same - after about 3 years of soul searching, the treatment of Charles Kennedy by a supposedly 'liberal' party was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm now a Labour councillor in Loughborough, and loving every minute! If you're interested my new blog is at

Chris Paul said...

Cheers Graeme - by a very strange coincidence you are the second Graeme Smith of my acquaintance in the Loughborough area. The Olympic medal winning swimmer GS is now busy at the University after finishing his own degree in Manchester ... Must be about the same age too. I'll take a look at the blog.