Tony Lit Attended Labour Fundraiser
Selection of local businessman described as Tory 'own goal'
Just when the defection of a number of Labour Councillors looked to be giving some momentum to the Conservative bid to win in Ealing Southall, a revelation about the attendance of their candidate at a Labour fund-raising dinner has proved to be a significant set-back.
Tony Lit is seen pictured with Tony Blair (see right) at the event for which his father's radio station, Sunrise, paid £4,800 for a table. The event was organised for the Asian business community earlier this month.
Mr. Lit said he was at the event in a business capacity and his attendance did not indicate support for Labour. He said, "As a businessman I did indeed attend this event for the Asian business community.
His opponents are saying that this disclosure betrays his political opportunism as he joined the Conservative party a short while afterwards to become their candidate at the by-election.
Menzies Campbell's Chief of Staff, Edward Davey MP said, "David Cameron's choice of candidate in Ealing now looks like a huge own goal. With his shadow cabinet colleagues admitting that the Tories can't win in Ealing Southall, and a candidate who was backing Tony Blair just weeks ago, the Tory by-election campaign is obviously going nowhere."
Joan Ryan, who is running the by-election campaign for Labour, said: "This breathtaking and naked Tory opportunism will not fool the people of Ealing and Southall.David Cameron's personal intervention to overrule local Tories and appoint a candidate has totally backfired.
It seems likely that the Labour party held back this information so that the release would suit the weekend press.
The revelation seems to have undermined the Conservative claim that they are the best positioned to challenge Labour for the seat. Their advertising in local newspapers had trumpeted that they were ahead of the Liberal Democrats in the betting stakes for the election but since the disclosure they have fallen into third place according to the odds displayed on Betfair. Meanwhile the odds on a Labour victory have shortened.
The results of the poll which takes place on 19th July will be published on this site as soon as possible after the declaration.
The by-election was triggered by the death of Labour MP Piara Khabra last month, at the age of 82.
July 17, 2007