Sheffield Council’s Lib Dem leader is switching seats to avoid an embarrassing local election defeat.
Lib Dem group leader Shaffaq Mohammed has represented the student friendly Broomhill ward for a decade…but will be moving up the hill to leafy Crookes and Crosspool just in time for the election on May 22nd.
He made no public announcement confirming his departure – voters found out about the switch when a leaflet was stuffed through their door.
It’s hard to fault him. After all, his predecessor as Lib Dem leader, Paul Scriven – also a Broomhill councillor - was forced into an embarrassing third place in the 2012 local elections, behind Labour and the Green Party. Shaffaq is currently the only remaining Lib Dem councillor in Broomhill.
The upmarket suburbs of Crosspool and Crookes, on the other hand, attract the bare minimum of students, and the Crookes ward, where both areas sit, is right in the middle of Clegg’s constituency of Sheffield Hallam. The ward was one of a handful of Lib Dem holds in 2012′s election.
You may remember Mr Scriven from the delightful and not at all embarrassing advert he made for his favourite local hotel, where he sang and danced to Lou Reed’s Perfect Day…and hoped nobody would notice. Scrapbook did.
Running in Shaffaq’s old seat will be student Lib Dem activist, Old Etonian and former Clegg intern Harry Matthews. He enjoyed brief fame for giving Nick a bright green onesie and asking him if he’d ever worn it live on the radio.
Shaffaq told the Sheffield Star:
“There is no guarantee of winning any seat in Sheffield – I never take anything for granted.”