Now that the dust has settled after the local and European elections, it is clear that despite all the media hype led by the BBC although UKIP came top in the European vote with Labour second, the Conservatives third and the Greens fourth, there was no "earthquake". Labour won the local elections with 338 extra council seats while the Lib Dems and Conservatives had heavy losses. In London Labour won control of several Boroughs from the Conservatives. Labour now has four of the eight London seats in the European Parliament. Labour won its first ever majority in the Redbridge Council elections with 35 councillors to the Conservatives 25. Labour also had a clear victory here in the European Parliament election winning 33528 compared to just 19458 for the Conservatives. I am delighted that Redbridge decisively rejected the racist and anti immigrant parties. UKIP won no councillors here and was a very poor third with just 12965 in the European elections. That is another reason why I am so proud to represent Ilford South and to live in our great diverse harmonious Borough.
This week saw the set piece occasion of the State opening of Parliament. The fourth Queens Speech introduced since the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition was formed in 2010, was very thin fare and further proof that the current Government has run out of steam. Indeed , Parliament has had very little new legislation for some months, largely due to the break down of trust and disagreement within the coalition. In normal circumstances these dysfunctional squabbling partners would have already gone their separate ways. But the junior coalition party the Liberal Democrats face electoral wipeout in any early General Election and will do all they can to hang onto their ministerial salaries and cars, and because of the coalition agreement and law for a fixed term Parliament we have to wait until May 7 next year to get a new government.