As the dust settles on the May local elections, Bristol Labour has been crowing about its polls success, having picked up six new councillors at the expense of the Lib Dem collapse to now make it the biggest party in Shitty Hall. Indeed, so excited are they that they’ve put aside their differences with Mayor Gorgeous and now have two senior councillors, Mark ‘Bear’ Bradshaw and Brenda Massey, in his ‘rainbow coalition’ cuts cabinet. A victory for social democracy indeed!
One of their best results came in the hard-fought, seven candidate LAWRENCE HILL election. There former Easton Lib Dem councillor Abdul Malik was beaten into an embarrassing third place by UKIP, with the Greens’ Chloe Summers coming in second from bottom with barely two hundred votes, despite earlier boasts by her pal Rob Telford that the sandal-wearers would romp home.
And who did win? Well, congratulations to Hibaq Jama, who despite FREEWHEELING through most of the campaign scooped more than half the vote to hold Lawrence Hill for Labour after Brenda Hugill stepped down (or rather, had her legs done in by party bosses).
As the city’s first elected politician of Somali origin, Jama is already something of a Bristol Labour poster girl, and given George Fergo’s fondness for dynamic young women, it seems possible he could find a special role for her despite her inexperience. Whether he manages this whilst keeping his new best chum, the anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner Nimko Ali – whose antipathy towards Bristol Labour now approaches near-legendary status – onside remains to be seen. But if there is juggling of opinionated, politically ambitious women to be done, El Fergo is not a man to shirk his reponsibilities – such was the Mayoral Vow he swore.
In the meantime, The BRISTOLIAN hopes that being in the public eye will put an end to the rumours circulating about Jama’s management style whilst working at Lawrence Hill’s education hub, the Beacon Centre.
After all, when phrases like “blasé absenteeism”, “bullying” and “unprofessional personal relationships” are being bandied around, even the brightest star starts to fade.
- Due to an oversight in the production process the original print version of this article wrongly stated that Jama replaced Margaret Hickman – who remains Labour’s other Lawrence Hill councillor – not Brenda Hugill. The idiot responsible has been taken out the back of the milking sheds and shot.