Young Conservative Distributing Pro-Labour Pamphlets


October 07, 2009

by Lindsay Brown

Thanks to the principle of standing by your word, an unlikely joint effort has occurred in Edinburgh South. When Edinburgh City Council mistakenly taxed Michael Henderson, 22, £800 too many, Nigel Griffiths, MP for South Edinburgh, corrected the charges and incidentally recruited Henderson, a Conservative, to pass flyers on the Labour Party’s behalf.

Nigel Griffiths MP with protesters
Nigel Griffiths MP with protesters against LibDem/SNP school policies

Since receiving the unexpected bill for £2200 roughly six months ago, Henderson had copied Griffiths on his emails to Edinburgh City Council. Griffiths, upholding his originally designed Contract to Constituents, interceded on Henderson’s behalf. Henderson wrote a thank you letter to Griffiths and, as a sign of appreciation, included a nonchalant nicety.

“I had written that if there was anything I could to do help him, don’t hesitate to ask,” Henderson said. “I didn’t expect him to take me up on it.”

Yesterday Henderson received a request from Griffiths to help distribute pro-Labour pamphlets. Henderson never communicated his political affiliation with Griffiths. “He pointed that since I had offered, he was asking,” Henderson said.

Griffiths is the first Labour Party MP for South Edinburgh. His Contract to Constituents states that he will help all his constituents regardless of their political party.

Henderson lives in South Edinburgh with three students, entitling him to a tax discount. He works full time and has lived with students for three years. The City Council taxed him as if he had not been living with three students.

When asked if he will actually carry out his pamphlet distribution task, Henderson replied, “I told him I will do it. I can’t go back on my word.”

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