CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

It’s true tho: Tories select Roberto Weeden-Sanz as City Hall candidate

I like the Hawley Arms, says Conservative choice

30 March, 2019 — By Richard Osley

A 25-YEAR-OLD is looking to become the youngest-ever Tory London Assembly member by winning back territory in Camden for the party at next year’s City Hall elections.

Roberto Weeden-Sanz was selected to stand for the Tories in the twin-borough constituency of Barnet and Camden on Sunday. Voters are guaranteed a new representative as Labour’s Andrew Dismore has announced he will not seek re-election.

Mr Weeden-Sanz – who has been called a Justin Trudeau lookalike by The Sun newspaper – said he would make tackling crime his number one campaign issue.

He told the New Journal: “My motivation for standing is what is really a crime wave across London. Before I ran for the council in Barnet, I was burgled twice in less than a year. “We’ve seen the rise of knife crime and friends have told me, particularly women, that they are afraid to walk the streets in London at night. We cannot afford to be a place where people are scared.”

Mr Weeden-Sanz said: “We must push for more police. We saw the Tories on the London Assembly propose an alternative budget which would have funded more officers, but it was voted down.”

Asked whether funding for services like the police ultimately rested with Conservatives in central government, Mr Weeden-Sanz said: “This takes us down the route where we’d end up saying: What’s the point of the mayor, what’s the point of the London Assembly.? “We can’t have a mayor who takes all the credit when something goes right, but simply blames the government when things go wrong. To me this isn’t a party political issue, it’s a health issue.”

Conservatives won the constituency three times with Brian Coleman, before Labour finally unseated the outspoken and often controversial former mayor of Barnet.

Mr Dismore, a former MP who lost his parliamentary seat in Hendon to the Tories and then failed in an attempt to win it back in 2015, has sat in the chamber for eight years. Potential Labour candidates are currently jockeying for position in the race to become the party’s new candidate.

Mr Weeden-Sanz said London must not risk having a Labour mayor being scrutinised by Labour Assembly members. “Next year’s elections are not about who you want as prime minister, it’s not Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn, it’s about local politics. I’m not simply defined by the party I represent – and the job will be to go out and have conversations with people across Barnet and Camden,” he said.

His selection came as little surprise to the party faithful; Mr Weeden-Sanz had been billed as likely winner by insiders before last weekend’s final hustings.

The party has yet to choose an Assembly candidate from the Camden side of the border. Former Highgate council election candidate Ben Seifert and Chingford councillor Emma Best were the other contenders.

Mr Weeden-Sanz, who lives in Barnet, said he liked going out in Camden Town, name-checking the Haw­ley Arms and the former Proud galleries as fav­ourite venues. He said: “We have borough political lines, but it is one city and it’s not as if there’s a wall between them.”

On his apparent physical similarities with the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Weeden-Sanz, a former charity worker, said: “It’s not something I put about but it’s flattering if someone says there is a likeness.”­

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