Dent Coad and Gyimah clash as gloves come off in nasty fight for Kensington

By SWLondoner reporter
November 18 2019, 07.25

The bitter battle for the remain vote in Kensington got ugly this weekend – and expect it to get worse.

First Labour’s Emma Dent Coad reported her Lib Dem rival Sam Gyimah to the police over comments he made about her in relation to the Grenfell Tower fire.

And he hit back releasing polling which claimed he was the only pro-People’s Vote candidate who can defeat Conservative Felicity Buchan.

Two years ago Ms Dent Coad became the first non Tory to represent the former safe blue seat when she beat Victoria Borwick by just 20 votes.

But the entry of former Conservative MP Mr Gyimah into the race has produced a fascinating three-way fight – and the gloves are clearly off.

In an interview with City AM Mr Gyimah claimed his Labour rival was part of the discussions on the lethal cladding used on Grenfell Tower while she was a local councillor.

She insists the allegations are false and, after unsuccessfully calling for an apology, has reported him to the Metropolitan Police under the Representation of the People Act.

“My office has already been sent a threat by voicemail – this will only escalate,” she said. “I feel sure that despite political differences you are a decent human being and will withdraw your false allegations and admit your error, if not you will have to live with the consequences.”

Mr Gymiah’s campaign counter they’ve had no contact from the Police while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on Lib Dem opposite number Jo Swinson to intervene.

“The Lib Dem candidate in Kensington, a former Tory, is trying to shift the blame for Grenfell,” he said.

“It’s disgusting and dangerous and Jo Swinson must put a stop to it immediately.”

This morning Mr Gymiah released polling he says shows the Conservatives are edging the three-way race, with a 36% vote share compared to 33% for the Lib Dems 33% and 27% for Labour.

But, he claimed, in a two-horse between him and Ms Buchan he would win with 56% – he did not reveal the result of a two-way battle between Labour and the Conservatives.

Kensington voted 70% to remain in the EU referendum and former minister Mr Gymiah is the only candidate endorsed by the People’s Vote campaign.

He said: “What these polls show is that if enough of them vote tactically for me, we can elect a pro-People’s Vote MP in Kensington and help defeat Boris Johnson. If they don’t vote tactically, then Johnson’s candidate would win by default.

“This election is about much more than politics as usual. It is about our values, our prosperity and the kind of future we want to build.”

Related Articles