If one can judge an expenses piggy by the company she keeps, it’s telling that Joan Ryan’s friends in high places include Tom Watson and Margaret Hodge. Ryan has even tapped up Hodge to write to residents in Enfield North, Hodge helpfully describes her as “a great campaigner with strong values” and ” a first-rate MP”. Obviously forgetting that she was kicked out last time after claiming £4,500 for work on her second home and having to pay back over £5,000 in mortgage interest. Now former Enfield Labour leader Jeff Rodin has pleaded with Hodge to withdraw her endorsement in a letter seen by Guido:
“All the good work that has been done by the Labour Borough Campaign Team in raising the profile and standing of Labour in the whole of Enfield would be undermined by the selection of Joan Ryan… Of the 5 candidates, it is my view that she is the one whose selection would most please the current Conservative MP and his campaign Team, and also would be most likely to damage the prospects for Labour in the Borough both for the 2014 Local Election as well as the next General Election… I have no doubt that there is more that the Conservatives plan to reveal if she is selected.”
As if that were not enough, local Labour councillors Derek Levy, Don McGowan and Ozzie Uzoanya are complaining to the party’s head office accusing Ryan of sending “misleading” leaflets to constituents. “Such behaviour is unacceptable as it is misleading to members. We will be notifying Labour Party Head Office”, they say.
Selection is on Sunday. The knives are out…