MP hopefuls for Poplar and Limehouse kick-off their election campaigns
PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:50 05 October 2010
THERE S everything to play for in Poplar and Limehouse- a new constituency created following a review by the Boundary Commission. The patch loses Canning Town, Custom House and Royal Docks to West and East Ham and instead gains St Katherine s, celebrity
THERE'S everything to play for in Poplar and Limehouse- a new constituency created following a review by the Boundary Commission.
The patch loses Canning Town, Custom House and Royal Docks to West and East Ham and instead gains St Katherine's, celebrity heartland Wapping and part of Shadwell from Bethnal Green and Bow.
But it's the personalities fighting the seat which make this a focus for the media spotlight.
East London is traditionally a Labour heartland with revered Prime Minister Clement Attlee representing the area.
The current MP Food and Farming Minister Jim Fitzpatrick has held the old constituency of Poplar and Canning Town for the last 13 years, with a majority of 7,129.
He fired a broadside against the alleged influence of the Islamic Forum of Europe on local politics and is unapologetic on the stance he has taken, despite it being used as political capital by his opponents who claim hitting out about segregation at a Muslim wedding offended his hosts.
Fellow Scotsman Respect George Galloway will be fighting hard to wrest the seat from Labour.
A veteran of the Big Brother house and a long time campaigner in Gaza Mr Galloway believes that his high profile will help him.
It's a key seat for the Conservatives to win and is being contested by Tim Archer who came second against Mr Fitzpatrick back in 2005.
The Tories are looking for a swing of just under six per cent.
Mr Archer is the deputy leader of the Tories on the council and has built a reputation as a hard-working councillor in Blackwall and Cubitt Town.
But as well as attracting media attention the constituency suffers from serious social issues, with overcrowded homes and deprivation and gated communities and gleaming spires of Canary Wharf in the centre of the Isle of Dogs.
There are high proportions of people living in overcrowded social housing on low incomes.
The area is multi-cultural and one in five residents are Bangladeshi born, many of them and their families living in social housing run by housing associations.
By contrast many residents in Wapping own their own homes, often converted dock warehouses and have substantial earning power. The area is a haven for people in the media and is also popular with actors, with Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen both residents.