The Independent London Newspaper


LETTERS: Where is the open debate we were promised?

Published: 6 January, 2016

• COUNCIL leader Richard Watts told us in 2014 that he would not allow Labour’s huge majority to result in a “one-party state”, so it is highly disturbing that councillors and officers seem increasingly to act as if Islington 

Council and the Labour Party are one and the same thing, and that an elected opposition is irrelevant. 

Councillor Caroline Russell apparently didn’t receive some papers in advance of a meeting because they had only been circulated in an internal Labour Party briefing newsletter. 

In the case of the attempted Fabric nightclub gag (Silenced – opposition councillor told not to comment on decision, November 25), a council officer warning an opposition councillor must have either seen himself as acting on behalf of the ruling party or have received direct instruction from his political masters. 

For Labour councillors to denigrate and bully an elected opposition councillor, without even bothering to check the facts of the situation, feels more like what we would expect of democracy in Robert Mugabe’s one-party state than we would hope to see in Islington. 

Councillor Watts stated after the 2014 election that he believes greater accountability improves the way that the council works and that he 

would guarantee Labour didn’t use its majority to stifle debate on important questions. 

He needs to make good on that promise.

Islington Green Party



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