ICG's 'shocking' new election tactics

The feud between Councillor Phil Andrews and MPs Anne and Alan Keen has taken yet another twist.

Coun Andrews is so determined to see the Keens ousted at the next elections that the Independent Community Group (ICG) has announced it will not be contesting the forthcoming general election, because it believes there is an "ethical imperative" to remove the borough's two current MPs from office.

Speaking to the Times, Coun Andrews, said: "Our members feel it's our priority to get the Keens out, so standing a candidate that wouldn't win would not serve this purpose."

Voting in the last election saw Labour take 38.6 per cent of the votes, with the Conservatives on 30.8 per cent, the Liberal Democrats on 23 per cent and ICG on just 2.4 per cent.

ICG Organiser Coun Phil Andrews contested Brentford and Isleworth in 2005, winning 1118 votes (2.4 per cent).

Commenting on the ICG's previous performance, Coun Andrews said: "Our feelings about our share of the poll were mixed.

"As independents go our result was excellent, the second highest for any independent in Greater London.

"However it would be foolish of us not to acknowledge that we were a very long way indeed from mounting a serious challenge for the seat.

"The lib dems will probably be pleased because it will mean the vote will not be split, but Labour would prefer us to stand."

On the continuing feud between Coun Andrews and the Keens, he said: "I've never been on their (Anne and Alan Keen) Christmas card list.

"It's not about war between us, but we have to be realistic in challenging at the election.

"Our vote will have increased but not 15 fold which is what is required.

"It's in the best interest of the people of our borough to withdraw ourselves at this early stage and highlight it to the people in the borough the dangers of re-electing someone that is not co-operating with the local authorities.

"We simply cannot compete on that stage with the large, sophisticated political machines whose message is reinforced daily during election campaigns by the national media."

Councillor Andrews stressed that not putting up a candidate did not mean being politically inactive at a constituency level in the build-up to the next election.

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