Ted Knight, former Lambeth Labour council leader from 1978 to 1986 has been elected chairman of Gipsy Hill ward of the Labour party.
His election is bound to cause outrage of seismic proportions among Lambeth council’s current ruling factions – and has caused much hilarity locally among people of a certain age who remember his leadership of Lambeth council.

News From Crystal Palace understands that Gipsy Hill ward of the Labour party now has a full committee of Momentum supporters – with a branch meeting of Dulwich and West Norwood party set for next Monday which they will be entitled to attend.

That could mean Cllr Matthew Bennett, Lambeth’s cabinet member for housing and a Gipsy Hill ward councilor who is on the Progress wing of the Labour party, having to look for a new seat to fight in the next council elections in May 2018.

News of Mr Knight’s election came in a press statement from Lambeth’s Conservative opposition leader Cllr Tim Briggs who said: “The Labour elite in Lambeth don’t like to talk about Ted Knight and his appalling record, as if by not talking about him, everything he represents will go away, like Voldemort in Harry Potter.

“Labour in Lambeth has been divided for some time between old style militants who support Ted Knight and want to use the Town Hall again to pick daft political fights, and a Labour administration running the council which has become notorious across the UK for its chaotic mismanagement.

“The Labour party in Lambeth is full of divisive characters already. “Closing community libraries and turning them into gyms, disrespecting residents by demolishing their homes without any proper consultation, acting like a rogue landlord by not doing decent repairs – all have gained national coverage, with the Labour council pumping out expensive messages trying to blame everyone else for its own failings.

“The reality is that Labour’s failures in Lambeth have made the dysfunctional brand of politics that Ted Knight represents almost inevitable.”

Cllr Briggs says that what he calls the rise of “the hard-Left Greens” and Momentum in Lambeth will continue “until we get the kind of centre-ground, practical administration that the Conservatives can offer, working hard and working successfully for all of our residents and maintaining the diversity that makes Lambeth special.

“How a divisive figure like ‘The Knightmare’ can help mend divisions in Lambeth by re-opening old ones, is hard to fathom.

“Despite having the largest building site in Europe within its boundaries, Lambeth under the current Labour elite is now the 29th poorest borough in the UK. “Will Ted Knight help make Lambeth more prosperous, and finally realise its potential? “Of course not.”

*LOL – Laugh Out Loud (as in text messaging).

Further reading: The rise and fall of Red Ted’s loony lefties / LAMBETH SCANDAL: It loved confrontation and thrived on tabloid outrage. Will Bennett charts a council’s turbulent times.The Independent Friday 28 July 1995

We need a coalition of resistance against local council cuts Ted Knight: Labour councillors have a choice – they can lead a struggle against a vicious government or stand aside for those who will – The Guardian 30 Dec 2012

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