Earlier this morning I posted on the fact that Robin Coombes would not be standing for election in the Whiteleas Ward. He was in fact stepping to one side to allow Terry Haram a clear run at the seat. To gain some background to the affair, I spoke to the South Tyneside Alliance and obtained the following statement:
“Robin has been out of the country for a couple of weeks and when he returned he independently decided to speak to the wards current incumbent, Terry Haram, about the forthcoming election in May 2008. Robin was of the opinion that if “two” independent candidates were on the ballot paper, Labour would take the seat by default and without a mandate. Robin offered to do the honourable thing and stand aside to let Terry have a clear run in the vote. We fully understand and support his decision. As we are not a political party, he will not be replaced by an alternative candidate.
Robin has indicated that he will work with Terry to achieve what is best for the ward, both before and after the election. We understand that Robin will stand for election in two years time. The Alliance therefore fully supports Terry in his desire to be re-elected in May. Our individual members and associates will no doubt offer him any help they can, as we would any other candidates, either Conservative or Liberal Democrat, whose reason for seeking election is to break the Labour Party’s control of the Borough. South Tyneside needs an effective, independent opposition not bound by party issues, and we would encourage those who feel the same to support any individuals who adopt similar approaches”.
Well done Robin, you have taken a dignified stance, and good luck Terry.