Speaker’s Corner: Murad Qureshi

Murad Qureshi is a Labour London Assembly member who lives in the Church Street area. He has been on the assembly for six years. Prior to that, he was a Westminster City councillor for eight years.

Mr Qureshi believes that the national election will be much closer than people are anticipating and thinks the recent Joanne Cash furore is indicative of deep cracks within the Tory party. He said:

"There are some natural gravity laws in politics which you get after an administration has had eight to 10 years. But I am not sure that what the Tories are trying to put over is coming across very well. You just have to look at the recent conflict with Joanne Cash and the local party.

"It is very revealing and I really do think there is a difference between the Cameron representation and what is materialising on the ground. If it goes on much longer like this, it will have its own momentum on election day and certainly works in Labour’s favour."

Mr Qureshi is in favour of the general and local elections being held on the same day because it will result in more people voting locally and concentrating on local issues.

"Politics is all local," he said. "Same day elections emphasises the local aspects more so than people realise and means that more people vote in the local elections, which is a good thing.

"The local issues are much more important than people realise. Karen Buck is a fantastic constituency MP and she is focusing on the local people and keeping her nose down because essentially this is not just a contest between Brown and Cameron.

"We do not put a tick next to their names – we vote for the parliamentary candidates in our constituency. The individuality of MPs is what we vote for but it seems to be more presidential at the moment rather than about the parties."

Hampstead & Highgate Express, 18 February 2010