In Taverham South in the Norwich North constituency there is a Councillor called Claudette Bannock. She claims on leaflets, in community newletters and at the council to be independent. The question is, how independent is she ?
She is a registered member of the Conservative Party. She turned up to a recent local council by-election count wearing a blue rosette and was clearly part of the Conservative team and she was shown on TV yesterday as one of the crowd of Tory supporters greeting David Cameron on his visit to Norwich North.
This really does beg the question, is Mrs Bannock trying to con us by claiming she is independent when clearly she is a Conservative.
What is more though is the effect this is having on Broadland District Council. She sits there as an independent. This means the independents have three councillors thus allowing them to register as a political group (and one of them therefore gets a leaders allowance). The truth is though that without her the independents could not have a group and the Tories would therefore have to give the chairmanship of the scrutiny committee to the opposition Lib Dems (which they should be entitled to anyway as the main opposition).
When we talk about honesty in politics, and it is one of Chloe Smith's campaign pledges, then isn't it time for some honesty from Conservative's masquerading as independents ?