Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dirty Tricks Claims as Right-Wing Tories Attempt Square Mile Coup

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dirty Tricks Claims as Right-Wing Tories Attempt Square Mile Coup

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Lydall

ELECTIONS to London's wealthiest local authority were being held today amid allegations of dirty tricks and fears of a coup by "militant" Right-wingers.

A group of candidates headed by Tory Mark Clarke hopes to oust a number of long-standing independent City of London Corporation members, sparking fears that the corporation's centuriesold tradition of political neutrality will be wrecked, thereby harming its role as a global cheerleader for the financial institutions in the Square Mile.

Mr Clarke, who dropped off the Tory "A-list" of parliamentary candidates after failing to win Tooting in the 2010 general election, insisted there was "no kind of secret Conservative conspiracy" to seize control, but said there was a need to remove "dead wood".

The elections are further complicated by the City Reform Group, which emerged in the wake of the Occupy anti-capitalist movement and wants candidates to pledge more transparency.

In addition, Labour has openly run a slate of 10 candidates. …

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