Labour Councillor Ansuya Sodha defects to Conservatives

This Is Local London: Cllr Sodha Cllr Sodha

A Barnet borough councillor has defected to the Conservatives, claiming Labour is “no longer the party for equality and justice”.

Councillor Ansuya Sodha, who represents West Hendon, resigned from the opposition group on Barnet Borough Council before Christmas, and joined the Conservatives at last night's full council meeting.

Labour members sat in stony silence as Tory councillors gave a huge round of applause and began chanting ‘hip, hip hooray’.

Cllr Sodha said she had been a “loyal, active and devoted” member of the Labour Party for more than 20 years, and a councillor for the past 16.

She added: “The party is not the same party I joined all those years ago. I am absolutely clear that I have not changed - it is the Labour Party that has changed.

“It is no longer the party for equality and justice, especially when it comes to the Asian, Indian community.

“They are short of ideas, inspiration and judgement. Their selection process is flawed and when they say they give equal opportunity to all, that is just lip service."

She also voiced her disappointment at Labour’s opposition to the West Hendon regeneration and the controversial ‘One Barnet’ scheme.

She said: “The few people who could uplift and reinvigorate the party have been sidelined and treated with scant respect. 

“Labour only wants to blame others for all the problems rather than looking at these issues in a realistic, professional manner. Playing the blame game is not in the best interests of the people.

"The Tory values of helping hard-working people, businesses and families are what is going to help people. I feel our children will have better futures under the Tories.”

 

Comments (12)

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10:22am Wed 22 Jan 14

Barnet Parker says...

Just another pathetic professional politician. So how radically have the Tories changed that have made them the bastions of 'equality and justice'.

And how do you represent justice to your constituents who thought they were voting one thing and got the opposite? Surely resigning would be the honourable thing to do but I don't suppose you get paid allowances for that.

Never thought I'd agree with Russell Brand but he's starting to make sense with his 'don't vote' spiel. As they say; whoever you vote for the Government still gets in and with all parties now so interchangeable that even the politicians can float that's never been more true.
Just another pathetic professional politician. So how radically have the Tories changed that have made them the bastions of 'equality and justice'. And how do you represent justice to your constituents who thought they were voting one thing and got the opposite? Surely resigning would be the honourable thing to do but I don't suppose you get paid allowances for that. Never thought I'd agree with Russell Brand but he's starting to make sense with his 'don't vote' spiel. As they say; whoever you vote for the Government still gets in and with all parties now so interchangeable that even the politicians can float that's never been more true. Barnet Parker
  • Score: 1

12:00pm Wed 22 Jan 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Barnet Parker, you are wrong. The Residents of West Hedon voted for Cllr Sodha, not for the Labour Party. She is perfectly entitled to change her views based on her extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the Labour Party in Barnet.
It is clear that Cllr Sodha, like many others, has no faith in Labour's ability to run the borough. Good for her, she's willing to stand by her values even if that means leaving a party whose policies and attitudes she no longer condones.
Barnet Parker, you are wrong. The Residents of West Hedon voted for Cllr Sodha, not for the Labour Party. She is perfectly entitled to change her views based on her extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the Labour Party in Barnet. It is clear that Cllr Sodha, like many others, has no faith in Labour's ability to run the borough. Good for her, she's willing to stand by her values even if that means leaving a party whose policies and attitudes she no longer condones. AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: 2

3:00pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Barnet Parker says...

AverageBR,
20 years ago the Labour Party demonstrated its commitment to equality by seeking equitable distribution of the fruits of the workers labours through common ownership - sadly ditched by Tory Blair to create New Labour. I would love to know what knowledge there must be of the inner workings of the Tory Party to suggest that they are going to introduce a Clause IV any time soon having just embarked on a wholesale privitisation of council services.
Good for her if stood by her principles, left the party and stood as an independent but this hand brake turn to the right just comes over a too implausible.
And as for voting for the person and not the party, Brian Coleman has already blown the whistle on that fantasy by telling us that all Tory decisions are whipped (doubtless this woud also be true for Labour).
Don't Vote - you know it makes sense!
AverageBR, 20 years ago the Labour Party demonstrated its commitment to equality by seeking equitable distribution of the fruits of the workers labours through common ownership - sadly ditched by Tory Blair to create New Labour. I would love to know what knowledge there must be of the inner workings of the Tory Party to suggest that they are going to introduce a Clause IV any time soon having just embarked on a wholesale privitisation of council services. Good for her if stood by her principles, left the party and stood as an independent but this hand brake turn to the right just comes over a too implausible. And as for voting for the person and not the party, Brian Coleman has already blown the whistle on that fantasy by telling us that all Tory decisions are whipped (doubtless this woud also be true for Labour). Don't Vote - you know it makes sense! Barnet Parker
  • Score: 7

3:32pm Wed 22 Jan 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

I'm not sure about this "Don't vote" malarky to be honest. I think it is important for the public to select the people that run the local authority.
I'm quite sure that the tories will not be "equitably distributing the fruits of workers' labours" any time soon. - That is a socialist concept and not at all what Cllr Sodha was referring to, methinks. Barnet is not a communist state quite yet, despite the best efforts of BAPS et al.
Cllr Sodha's move to the right may be implausible to you, but there must be a reason that she chose the Conservative group rather than independence. - She believes that the Tories are the right party for Barnet. She is entitled to her (well informed) opinion whether or not you agree with her.
I'm not sure about this "Don't vote" malarky to be honest. I think it is important for the public to select the people that run the local authority. I'm quite sure that the tories will not be "equitably distributing the fruits of workers' labours" any time soon. - That is a socialist concept and not at all what Cllr Sodha was referring to, methinks. Barnet is not a communist state quite yet, despite the best efforts of BAPS et al. Cllr Sodha's move to the right may be implausible to you, but there must be a reason that she chose the Conservative group rather than independence. - She believes that the Tories are the right party for Barnet. She is entitled to her (well informed) opinion whether or not you agree with her. AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -4

6:15pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Jon10 says...

AverageBarnetResiden
t
wrote:
I'm not sure about this "Don't vote" malarky to be honest. I think it is important for the public to select the people that run the local authority.
I'm quite sure that the tories will not be "equitably distributing the fruits of workers' labours" any time soon. - That is a socialist concept and not at all what Cllr Sodha was referring to, methinks. Barnet is not a communist state quite yet, despite the best efforts of BAPS et al.
Cllr Sodha's move to the right may be implausible to you, but there must be a reason that she chose the Conservative group rather than independence. - She believes that the Tories are the right party for Barnet. She is entitled to her (well informed) opinion whether or not you agree with her.
Is the Conservative Party going to select her to stand in May?
[quote][p][bold]AverageBarnetResiden t[/bold] wrote: I'm not sure about this "Don't vote" malarky to be honest. I think it is important for the public to select the people that run the local authority. I'm quite sure that the tories will not be "equitably distributing the fruits of workers' labours" any time soon. - That is a socialist concept and not at all what Cllr Sodha was referring to, methinks. Barnet is not a communist state quite yet, despite the best efforts of BAPS et al. Cllr Sodha's move to the right may be implausible to you, but there must be a reason that she chose the Conservative group rather than independence. - She believes that the Tories are the right party for Barnet. She is entitled to her (well informed) opinion whether or not you agree with her.[/p][/quote]Is the Conservative Party going to select her to stand in May? Jon10
  • Score: 6

7:19am Thu 23 Jan 14

Hunted999 says...

I wonder which eye catching drive towards equality sold Cll Sodha on joining the Tories. Could it have been the re-introduction of the word 'Chairman' into the coucil constitution.,,and before loads of Tories come on here to point out that 'Chair' is an item of furniture; the constitution could have read 'Chairman or Chairwoman'.

Jon10,
I believe that the Tories will have a vacancy in Totteridge so they could select her to stand there.
I wonder which eye catching drive towards equality sold Cll Sodha on joining the Tories. Could it have been the re-introduction of the word 'Chairman' into the coucil constitution.,,and before loads of Tories come on here to point out that 'Chair' is an item of furniture; the constitution could have read 'Chairman or Chairwoman'. Jon10, I believe that the Tories will have a vacancy in Totteridge so they could select her to stand there. Hunted999
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

It’s fascinating how many politicians have no real convictions but align themselves with the party they think is most likely to get them elected (or re-elected, in this case). I remember once meeting a Barnet councillor who admitted that he had not known which party to join and therefore chose the one most likely to see him elected.

This observation does not apply to minor parties such as the Lib-Dems and the Greens. Since their candidates generally have little chance of election, no one would become an election candidate without really believing in the party’s goals. So at the coming elections we should all support these honest minor parties and ignore the careerist Conservative and Labour candidates.
It’s fascinating how many politicians have no real convictions but align themselves with the party they think is most likely to get them elected (or re-elected, in this case). I remember once meeting a Barnet councillor who admitted that he had not known which party to join and therefore chose the one most likely to see him elected. This observation does not apply to minor parties such as the Lib-Dems and the Greens. Since their candidates generally have little chance of election, no one would become an election candidate without really believing in the party’s goals. So at the coming elections we should all support these honest minor parties and ignore the careerist Conservative and Labour candidates. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 2

7:37pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Very_G says...

Methinks Cllr Dodha or someone closely connected to her may have been trying to get on the Labour PPC list. Hell hath no fury and all that...
Methinks Cllr Dodha or someone closely connected to her may have been trying to get on the Labour PPC list. Hell hath no fury and all that... Very_G
  • Score: 1

6:26pm Wed 29 Jan 14

dawboy says...

What a load of hypocrital twaddle Cllr Dodha spouts. I am not politically aligned so can view things from a neutral position. Ther is nothing stopping her from standing as an independent labour or just independent candidate if she so wished. Of course that would mean actually paying out for electoral things herself, which is something totally alien to a council member of an established political party.
If she really believes that here electorate voted for her and not her former party, then she has nothing to lose by becoming an independent councillor. I suspect however she isn't that confident of her support in her constituency and so has tried to remain on the Barnet Council expenses gravy train by jumping to the best alternative option for success in her opinion.
What a load of hypocrital twaddle Cllr Dodha spouts. I am not politically aligned so can view things from a neutral position. Ther is nothing stopping her from standing as an independent labour or just independent candidate if she so wished. Of course that would mean actually paying out for electoral things herself, which is something totally alien to a council member of an established political party. If she really believes that here electorate voted for her and not her former party, then she has nothing to lose by becoming an independent councillor. I suspect however she isn't that confident of her support in her constituency and so has tried to remain on the Barnet Council expenses gravy train by jumping to the best alternative option for success in her opinion. dawboy
  • Score: 2

7:07pm Thu 6 Feb 14

sensiblefellow says...

I suspect that Madame Sodastream's defection has little to do with her ideological appreciation of the Tories and more to do with the fact that she had alienated herself amongst her natural Labour allies. There really should be a rule that one cannot simply switch parties midway through a term. Stand down and be re-elected is the more sensible approach.
I suspect that Madame Sodastream's defection has little to do with her ideological appreciation of the Tories and more to do with the fact that she had alienated herself amongst her natural Labour allies. There really should be a rule that one cannot simply switch parties midway through a term. Stand down and be re-elected is the more sensible approach. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 2

11:30pm Thu 6 Feb 14

nlygo says...

Sodastream? why has this entered this thread?
Sodastream? why has this entered this thread? nlygo
  • Score: 0

8:02pm Sat 8 Feb 14

patriotbob says...

An excellent idea Edgar de Jarnac, we should indeed 'ignore the careerist Conservative and Labour candidates '............and vote UKIP.
An excellent idea Edgar de Jarnac, we should indeed 'ignore the careerist Conservative and Labour candidates '............and vote UKIP. patriotbob
  • Score: 1

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