Rapidly being updated as we speak are all web-references in the name of Sajad Karim. The MEP elected on the LibDem ticket in the north west region in 2004 as has now decided to become a Tory. At LibDem home posters are unearthing speeches from him slagging off Cameron. From his own blog here he talks about giving the Tories a hiding in an upcoming by-election at the time it was written.
I remember Karim’s leaflets in 2004 castigating Labour for only putting ethnic minorities in unwinnable positions on their list – I was number 8 and Ebrahim Adia at number 9. Yet we were both happy to serve not expecting special favours. Karim meanwhile got himself elected in 04 after being fast-tracked by Cowley Street, was re-selected second to publicity hogging Chris Davies on Friday and decides to throw in the towel on Monday after doing the sums and realising that the sinking LibDem ship is unlikely to get 2 MEPs next time. Chris Paul has traced Karim family Tory tradition stemming from his dad as a Conservative councillor in Pendle. However you explain it though SK is an opportunist only bothered about himself. There will be a lot of LibDem activists who worked hard to get him elected and re-selected who’ll be mightily pissed off and not without justification.
I do not see the defection of this character as a harbinger for great things for the Tories. In 02 Richard Balfe, former London Labour MEP jumped ship to them and Labour still won the next Genreal Election despite the Telegraph’s then claim “Senior Conservatives claimed that Mr Balfe’s decision could prove to be a turning point for the party after a long period of suffering defections to other parties.” A quick google reveals that Balfe no longer lives in Woolwich (his constituency) but is based in Suffolk where he administers EU pensions funds from.
Cameron’s last fast-tracked pretty boy Asian trophy find Tony Lit was charitably called an experiment but proved to be a disaster. Karim’ll be wanting to top the NW Tory Euro list in 09 no doubt. Fomer Tory candidate Ali Miraj had his 15 minutes when his huffing and puffing didn’t acheive the desired result and was kicked out mind you.
Apparently it was Cameron’s “race” policy that won over Karim. I’m reminded of a quote in the Daily Mirror last week when the Tory leader visited his latest hindu temple (from I think Steve Pound) “David Cameron’s played the race card before, this time he’s trying it with an Indian accent”.