16 June 2009
Slough's Conservative Crisis Deepens

The crisis in our town's Conservatives continues to deepen.

The acrimonious break-up a week ago of the 6 year old Conservative-Liberal alliance, with both sides declining to support each other in council strategies, follows the recent resignation of Cllr Derek Cryer from Slough's Conservative group.

Town Hall corridors echo with news the Liberal BILLD group and their long-time ally Cllr Cryer are unhappy with the appointment of Cllr Pervez Choudhry as Tory Group Leader.

Cllr Choudhry was elected by Central ward voters as a Labour councillor in May 2008 in the aftermath of police raids and multiple arrests of Conservatives for postal voting fraud. Within days of being elected a Labour councillor, Cllr Choudhry was enticed into the Conservative Party by parliamentary hopeful Cllr Diana Coad popularly known as 'Lady Diana from Burnham near Slough'.

Lady Diana and her supporters proudly told the press of her personal involvement in achieving Cllr Choudhry's defection. At the first council meeting Cllr Choudhry sat in the front row flanked by his proud and beaming escorts Lady Diana and her husband Conservative Cllr Peter Dale-Gough.

A year later Cllr Choudhry ousted Conservative group leader Derek Cryer much to the consternation of many in the Conservative-Liberal alliance but to the joyful amusement of the Labour group.

The Conservative-Liberal alliance's break-up is worrying for Castleview residents opposed to Labour's plans to sell-off part of Upton Court Park for a large housing estate. As a Labour councillor Cllr Choudhry was in favour of selling-off part of Upton Court Park. With Cllr Choudhry now in control of the Conservatives, residents suspect the Conservatives may abandon or weaken their opposition to bits of Slough's most prestigious public park being sold-off for housing purposes.

Cllr Choudhry's continued silence on this important local matter is disappointing.

The Slough Party is the only political party totally committed to stopping the sell-off of Upton Court Park. It was a Slough Party member who leaked the council's secret plans to the press while Conservatives were paralysed with indecision wondering what to do. Like all mediocre politicians the Tories eventually jumped on the public's band waggon solely for political advantage.

Paul Janik
Slough Party