Former Tory leader heads to Watford after losing election battle in Belsize

Oliver Cooper will be up against the Lib Dems again – this time in Hertfordshire

Tuesday, 24th May — By Richard Osley


Oliver Cooper during his time as the leader of the opposition in Camden

THE now former leader of the Camden Conservatives – who gambled his seat in the Town Hall chamber by switching wards – has taken up a new party role in Watford, just weeks after his election loss.

Oliver Cooper would almost certainly still be a councillor if he had stayed put in Hampstead but said he had ‘lead from the front’ by going into battle with the Liberal Democrats in the hard-to-predict Belsize ward. The Lib Dems went on to win all three seats, bringing an end to Cllr Cooper’s run as the leader of the opposition.

Last week, Mr Cooper was elected as chairman of the Watford Conservatives, and was urged by his new colleagues to help turn the Hertfordshire town blue. There are currently no Tories on Watford Borough Council, and it is an authority run by a Lib Dem majority.

Councillor Gio Spinella has become the new leader of the Camden Conservatives in the wake of the council elections on May 5 which saw the Tories bring home only three seats.

He said the local Tories now faced an “existential’ battle at each further election in Camden and that lots of work would be needed to change the party’s fortunes in Camden – warning that it had lost support due to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s unpopularity.



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