Events in Ealing Southall have now taken an even more bizarre turn, with Iain Dale’s account of the on-off-on-off again alleged defection of Cllr Zahida Abbas Noori…
Earlier today I reported that a sixth Labour councillor in Ealing Southall had defected to the Conservatives. I had had this information under a 10am embargo since late last night, when I was sent a statement which Cllr Zahida Abbas Noori has agreed with her five colleagues who defected yesterday.
It seems that this morning she was persuaded not to defect after all, presumably by Tom Watson, Labour’s beleagured by election campaign manager.
Quite what’s going behind the scenes down there is anyone’s guess, but Dale’s comments do seem to have settled one outstanding matter once and for all…
Let’s establish the facts, shall we?
1. Last night Cllr Noori did indeed agree with her five councillor colleagues that she would be joining them.
2. A statement was agreed with her, which I have, but I won’t post unless she’d like me to.
3. The announcement was embargoed until 10am this morning.
4. Since I heard nothing to the contrary overnight I posted the story this morning.
5. Tom Watson then presumably persuaded Cllr Noori of the error of her ways.
Now, with regard to an apology, what is it exactly I’m to apologise for? Acting on information given to me in good faith and which was correct at the time of publication? It was even formatted on a Conservative Party press release, just like the one the previous day when the group of five defections was announced.
So Dale admits to acting as one of Tory Central Office’s primary mouthpieces on the internet. Glad we’ve cleared that one up…