LABOUR Cllr Ian Henderson, who represents the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea has come under fire for being filmed working with both Conservative councillors and the area’s Tory MP Felicity Buchan at the local food bank.
As a response, his party have threatened him with a formal warning, as well as a second warning when he defended himself and didn’t disassociate himself with the video, as requested.
Today I went to the Venture Centre off the Golborne Rd to help unload a truck load of food which will be distributed to the North Kensington community. Delighted to see about 20 volunteers helping. A real example of Kensington pulling together to help its most vulnerable. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/WWq1eCcQfL
— Felicity Buchan MP (@FelicityBuchan) April 15, 2020
The warning concluded as reported by LBC: “By the end of the coming weekend, I request that you apologise to Pat Mason as Leader, copying in the Group and do everything you have been asked to disassociate yourself from the Conservative publicity videos.
This involves untagging and requesting the Member of Parliament and Elizabeth Campbell to untag you from the video and doing any other necessary action to disassociate yourself from it. It also involves responding to the video on twitter to clarify in a short and simple statement that the video does not represent the views and has not been endorsed by the Labour Group”.
It added: “If requests from the Whip are not complied with, further action can potentially be taken including removal from Council positions within the province of the group and withdrawal of the whip, following a vote of the Labour Group”.
In response to this, Labour representatives from the area called the warning ‘completely bonkers’, and added that ‘the offending videos only got ten and three retweets respectively and there was real fear among some in the Party that the publicity and backlash against punishing Cllr Henderson would do much more damage’.
Others in the party in the area are reported to be horrified and outraged by this threat, with current leader Keir Starmer encouraging cross-party work to solve the current coronavirus crisis. The aforementioned Mason meanwhile said ‘this is quite simply incorrect.
“We received a complaint from a local resident, which we are obliged to investigate, in relation to a Councillor taking part in unauthorised media activity. This is not linked to cross-party working with the Council’s other Groups and stakeholders or delivering food to foodbanks, something we are all doing at this time.”
The case is currently with the national Labour party and we are not able to comment further’. Henderson delivered £10,500 worth of Tesco food to vulnerable residents in the area, and to prop the local food banks, which were becoming dry.
Ian Henderson is currently a Labour councillor for the Colville ward of the Kensington and Chelsea council, and has represented that area since his election in 2018.
In that area, Labour had planned to win that council in the 2018 local elections, following concerns about the Conservative Party in light of the Grenfell tower fire in 2017.
The Tories held the council, and Buchan has been the MP for the Kensington constituency since the 2019 general election, following on from Labour’s controversial Emma Dent Coad, of who won the formerly safe Tory seat by surprise in 2017 with the pro-EU electorate against the pro-Brexit Lady Borwick.