When Barnet Green Party Raymond Obedencio happens to video a Council Meeting
20 March 2018
Deselected Joan Scannell hits out at Barnet Tories
Simon AllinLocal Democracy Reporter, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey
A row has broken out in the Barnet Tory party after a Conservative association was accused of anti-Christian, anti-family and misogynistic attitudes by a deselected councillor.
Speaking at a meeting of the council’s General Functions Committee yesterday (March 19), Cllr Joan Scannell said the attitudes were “rife” at Hendon Conservative Association (HCA), whose chairman, Cllr Dan Thomas, has allegedly been plotting a pro-Brexit power grab.
Last week, the Conservatives lost overall control of the council following the resignation of Cllr Sury Khatri, who was also deselected by the HCA along with Cllr Scannell and Cllr Maureen Braun at a meeting on Sunday, March 11.
As a result, they were made ineligible to stand in local elections on May 3.
Last night, after thanking councillors and officers, Cllr Scannell said: “I will not be thanking Dan Thomas, as he is the chairman of Hendon Conservative Association, which has deselected me for no reason whatsoever. I was not even interviewed.
“Anti-Christian, anti-family and misogyny is rife in Hendon Conservative Association under him.”
Deputy leader Clllr Thomas, who was also present at the meeting, said councillor Scannell did not turn up to the selection interview on March 11.
Cllr Scannell responded: “Did I not say anti-Christian and anti-family? It happened to be a Sunday and it happened to be Mothers’ Day – a day mothers normally spend with their families.
“I thought about it long and hard and I said that I’d think about it, which was ruled out of order by you and the rest of your people.”
Cllr Thomas then declared the meeting closed.
The exchange, which was caught on camera by Raymundo Obedencio of Barnet Green Party and Occupy News Network, will cause further embarrassment for a Conservative group dogged by accusations of in-fighting.
Labour leader Cllr Barry Rawlings said the right-wing group was aiming to replace pragmatic, one nation Tories with pro-austerity and pro-privatisation candidates.
Cllr Thomas denied the accusations of a coup and claimed Labour were trying to distract attention from their own internal problems.
Responding to the allegations made by Cllr Scannell, Cllr Thomas said: "The short list of new candidates for Mill Hill, Hendon and Edgware happens to be entirely female including a BME [black and minority ethnic] candidate, so the claim of misogyny and racism is untrue.
"As for the timing of Cllr Scannell’s re-selection interview, we gave her five weeks' notice and not once did she advise me that she could not attend; in fact Cllr Scannell confirmed what time she preferred, only to advise her absence on the day.
"Her request to submit a last minute video answering self-selected questions was refused. I believe these claims are only being made because Cllr Scannell is understandably upset at the decision not to re-select her."