Gemma and Ronnie: just to wrap up a strange campaign

Update Sunday July 13. Some of you may have had enough of this ( spare us “you’ve said it”, please!) but I can’t resist sharing this post from the sparky Tory Guido Fawkes, that Gemma has made at hit and may even have a Tory future.

I almost forgot.. I started so I’ll finish.. Miss Great Britain and former Miss Belfast Gemma Garrett managed to share the limelight with victor David Davis at the count

in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election. Can’t say she won her spot on political grounds, coming fifth out of 26 candidates with 521 votes. Neverthess she got a good press with the Times gushing: “if it had been a beauty contest, there could only have been one winner.” I half caught a radio clip of her making a political point at the count, which sadly I can’t find, to the effect that because of her NI background, she supported 42 days detention without charge. At least the voters ended up knowing who she was, unlike most candidates. Gemma came one place and 29 votes ahead of Ealing vicarage rape victim Jill Saward, who fought a serious campaign in favour of retaining the DNA samples of suspects as well as the convicted. Sadly, I have to report that Belfast sixties crooning star Ronnie Carroll bombed with just 29 votes at 21st place. I hope both Belfast celebs thought the lost deposits were worth it. whatever it was they got out of it.

David Davis’s landslide 15000 majority in a higher than expected 34% turnout produced deep yawns at Westminster and seems to have done little to advance his civil liberties campaign.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London