LOOK WHO’S helping hand out Christmas dinner to Newham’s older residents! Dinner hands for the day were controversial Mayor Sir Robin Wales and his deputy – Cllr Ken Clark.
Wales was re-selected last year as Labour’s candidate to fight the Newham mayoral election this May. That decision was challenged by some Labour Party members, who claimed that procedures had not been followed properly. Rather than slug it out in court, the Labour Party – with agreement from Robin Wales – agreed to re-run the selection contest.
Cllr Clark used to be Ken Clark, Director of the London Labour Party. In that capacity he oversaw the members ballot which selected Lutfur Rahman to be the Labour Party candidate for mayor of Tower Hamlets in 2010. He announced the selection ballot result on the steps of the Labour Party Rooms to the waiting press. He has never commented on what part he played in the overturning of that members’ ballot by Labour’s NEC.
Not that any of this worried the hungry pensioners having their Christmas lunch, who were pleased to demolish the turkey, trimmings, puddings and mince pies on offer. The dinner was sponsored by Juniper Ventures, a company owned by Newham Council, and local businesses JJ Food Service, Prescott Thomas Ltd, Tri-Star Packaging and William White Catering Butchers.
Staff from the sponsors joined catering students from Newham College, as well as the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and other councillors, in serving Christmas dinner. There was plenty of entertainment, with singing from Sam Knight, bingo and a raffle, with prizes courtesy of Tesco.
Sir Robin Wales said, “While this is a season of friendship and goodwill, for many people it can be a lonely time of year. Events such as this show we are thinking of them.”
Councillor Clark added, “The Christmas lunch is one of many ways our community neighbourhood teams help residents take part in activities and have fun. I thank all of our generous sponsors who have made the event happen.” He made no reference to Lutfur Rahman.