Monday, November 26, 2007

LibDem MEP Defects to the Conservatives

The Conservatives have announced the first major defection to them since David Cameron became leader. LibDem MEP Sajjad Karim has jumped ship. This is his statement.
Two years ago David Cameron described himself as a Liberal Conservative and
that's very much how I see myself. But I needed to be convinced that he could
change his party and now I am. David Cameron's recent speech on immigration was
incredibly impressive - sensible, rational and positive. It persuaded me that he
is a leader who has changed his party and will change this country. I'm afraid
that the Liberal Democrats have lost their way and are no longer a serious force
in politics. I'm here to serve the people of the North West and I think I can
only do that now as a Conservative. I'm sure I will not be the last politician
to reach the same conclusion. It's David Cameron and the Conservatives who are
now setting the political agenda in Britain. Only the Conservatives are capable
of putting right Labour's continued failure.

Strangely, the announcement hasn't featured in either the Radio 4 or Radio 5 Live news bulletins I have just listened to. I think we all know that it would be headline news if the defection had been the other way.

UPDATE 9.35am: 5 Live has just carried it on their 9.30 news bulletin.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

They did interview him on Radio 4 at about 7.20 I think.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about it getting on the news. After all it is only an MEP and the media rarely cover anything to do with the European parliament.

Iain Dale said...

Remember all the fuss about John Stevens and Bill Newton Dunn defecting?

Tim Leunig said...

He failed to get the #1 spot on the LibDem list very recently. Had he defected before that result came out his departure would have been more interesting. As it is, he looks like someone trying to save his job, whatever it takes.

Chris Paul said...

About bloody time too. More on my blog when I get my breath.

bergen said...

I heard a fairly long interview with him on Today at about 6.45.

Man in a Shed said...

Radio 4 will be too busy broadcasting the Labour government propaganda of the day - Gordon is for the Long Term ! (Not if I have anything to do with it he won't be).

Struan Jamieson said...

"He failed to get the #1 spot very recently" As that No 1 Spot went to Chris Davies who has been No 1 in 2004 and in 1999 and that Chris Davies has one of the highest profile of any Euro MP particulary in the North West,I think Sajjad Karim would have been amazed had he done so.

That statement of an aggrieved candidate smells of Lib Dem HQ spin.(actually CCO used it when Peter Thurnham went from Conservative to Lib Dem in 1996-1007)

Two questions though- where does this affect the Tory ranking for the same euro elections in the North West Region since as far as I can see, Robert Atkins, Den Dover and David Sundberg are seeking re-election and that the "rules" indicate that were any of them to stand down, then their replacement must be a woman. Nice little dilemma there for CCO.

Finally, did Sajjad Karim vote for Chris Huhne or Nick Clegg?

Anonymous said...

Stevens? Dunn? Who? Only the politically devoted know or remember these people. Compare that to MPs who have crossed the aisle.

This is also sitting in the context of recent government disasters which directly affect peoples lives as opposed to political games.

Anonymous said...

Further to my last posting, the North West Region Fib Dem web site says,"Lib Dems in the North West have begun choosing our team for the 2009 European elections. This is done by a one-member, one-vote selection process. Campaigning will take place across the summer and the main regional hustings meeting was held on 29th September."
So the results have been known for 6-8 weeks,so if the Lib Dem statement about him being an aggrived candidate had any validity, it must have been the first slow motion defecdtion in political history.
Looks like they used excuse Number Two when Mr Karim crossed the floor on the book of How to Cope with Defections."

freedom to prosper said...

I thought BBC news was an extension of the Dancing competition.

Anonymous said...

Decent man though Karim is I am afraid the truth is that he tried very hard to get the number one slot on the Lib Dem list. He campaigned for this at considerable expense, including sending DVDs to every member in the run up to the selection process. He made it clear that he felt he should be number one. In the end the members opted for someone else. There was a recount because of a close vote further down the list. During this time he tried to object to every aspect of the process despite it all having been agreed and done very transparently. He dithered about whether to accept the number 2 position.. he accepted it.. the list was published and then.. literally 48 hours later he announces a defection. Sounds like someone putting career before politics to me.

Now he may well find he is really a conservative.. that's clearly up to him. But please don't try to tell us that this is a sudden policy conversion driven by nothing but that.

John said...

I don't blame him for leaving the Lib Dems. They are foul racists to turn him down in this way! He's learned the hard way that outsiders, women etc prosper far more in the Conservative Party.

Chris Paul said...

Gerblogged Iain. Lib Dems were IMO communalist in the extreme in 2004.

Chris Paul said...

On the Huhne/Clegg question ... there is a picture of him with Huhne in his gallery, but none I can see with Clegg. Which doesn't help the Tory thesis that much, but may assist on the opportunistic angle. Sajjad is a Tory but even taking Lib Dem colours for council ten and more years ago can be seen as opportunistic.

Anonymous said...

Saj Karim is (currently) a member of the “Am I the only person who doesn’t like David Cameron?” group on Facebook.

Also, see comments on his blog from June of this year:

“Whilst Cameron attempts to paint a glossy image of a gay-friendly party in the UK, he is also desperately trying to get into bed, at European level, with Poland’s openly homophobic ‘Law and Justice’ party. I just hope the British public see Chameleon Cameron for who he really is!!!”
http://tinyurl.com/2f9cal

'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10.02am, results of north west selection were delayed because of issues further up the list. Result was announced on Friday . . .

DIRTY EUROPEAN SOCIALIST said...

It makes no sense. How can you leabe a pro European progressive group for a group that want to leave the EU. Who cares? I suppose the story has been beaten by the Northern Rock.
Will darling get an credit from the tories and the oxbridge media for saving the bank. I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Strange that his blog isn't yet in your BLOGGING MEPs/AMs/MSPs/MLAs links section.

Anonymous said...

Saj Karim was elected by an awful lot of spadework by the North West Lib Dems combined with a powerful ethnic vote. He was a clear number two on the Lib Dem list behiund Chris Davies when he was elected and could not seriously expect to go anywhere else. His attempts to do so were, sadly, based upon the grandiosity which takes over so many elected representatives in all parties: they forget that their own personality and ability was about fifth in the things which got them elected.

Saj Karim says he was 'thinking for some time' about joining the Tories: obviously not at the time when he was trying to be the Lib Dem number one candidate for the North West though, eh? How likely would his defection have been with that guaranteed meal ticket?

The interesting thing is what deal has been done to ease him into the Tory list - or whether he's just after a peerage to be a token asian in the Tory ranks while he builds up his legal business.

Anonymous said...

Strange then that this still appears on his blog
http://sajjadkarimmep.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html dated 6th June:

'Whilst Cameron attempts to paint a glossy image of a gay-friendly party
in the UK, he is also desperately trying to get into bed, at European
level, with Poland's openly homophobic 'Law and Justice' party. I just
hope the British public see Chameleon Cameron for who he really is!!!'

ezra said...

Bit of an oversight:

http://4.download-1.files-upload.com/50/2007/11/26/12-50/0/sajkarim.bmp

Mike Wood said...

Sajjad Karim being on the same list as Chris Davies was always about as convincing as Roger Helmer and Bill Newton-Dunn.

It's a bit rich for the Lib Dems to start talking about opportunistic defections now, having exploited the phenomenum in local government for years.

Sajjad will be a great addition to the party. Let's hope more follow

Gary Elsby stoke said...

Do you seriously believe that the Media should take this story seriously?

He is someone who nobody has ever heard of and he's defected to a party that nobody wants.

Forgive me, it tickles me to write in such Shakesperian tones.

Gary

Anonymous said...

Presumably, he'll be standing down and making way for the next list Lib Dem list candidate to take his place. After the fuss Tories made of Quent, I'd be astonished if he doesn't.

Elaib Harvey said...

Or more to the point the defection of Bill Newton-Dunn

rupahuq said...

As someone referred to unkindly on a leaflet of his in the past I've never had much time for him. You lot are welcome to the bloke but woebetide Cameron if he doesn't give this careerist a winnable place on the list next year.

http://rupahuq.wordpress.com/2007/11/26/lib-dems-only-bme-parliamentarian-defects/

chris (m) said...

The word opportunistic comes to mind here.

David Cameron ought to tell him to sod off.

Didn't something like this happen at those recent bi-elections?

Anonymous said...

Nulab encourage defectors by ensuring that they get selected for a good seat next time round. How about giving Saj somewhere like....... Maidstone?

Anonymous said...

The amazing blonde bombshell Helen Foster-Grime, who took one of the safest Conservative Council seats in the North West, is now no 2. Watch out Tories - she's far and away better than Sajjad Karim.

Adrian Yalland said...

There is a rumour (just told to me by a Lub Dem MP) that he has sacked his staff by text message. If so, that's a pretty poor startm and a crapy thing to do.

Anonymous said...

the text message sacking is absolutely true ( I met one of his former staff last night). he also arranged a van to come to his office on sunday and emptied it of literally everything - including some property of the Lib Dems and some personal property of the staff members who used to work there. So theft as well as shoddy behaviour.