Frazer Lake, only re-elected in May, shows his commitment to the people who voted for him by quitting to pursue a ‘better’ opportunity
Liverpool Community Independents (LCI) – the group of councillors who left Labour rather than collude in attacking the poor and vulnerable, stunned Labour in May by trouncing them in three council seats – will stand in the Fazakerley East by-election in the city triggered by today’s resignation of a career-pursuing right-winger who only won the seat in May.
In an email sent to Labour councillors, Lake announced that he is quitting tomorrow to take a job with ‘one of the trade unions’, though he did not say which:
LCI leader Alan Gibbons criticised Lake’s ‘short and inglorious career’ and allegedly deceptive campaigning to get selected to stand as a councillor in the first place:
Lake was a member of Warbreck branch when I was chair and secretary of Walton CLP, Liverpool Walton being the constituency with the highest Labour vote in the country. It was evident to many of us that his left credentials were questionable to say the least.
Lake’s political career began when he was shortlisted for the Fazakerley seat in 2019. I was the CLP observer when Lake’s manipulative left rhetoric got him preferred to genuine Corbyn supporter Rona Heron. Cue a rapid rise ultimately leading to inclusion in Mayor Joanne Anderson’s Cabinet in the aftermath of the Caller Report into Liverpool City Council that saw government commissioners sent into the city.
In a meteoric rise unjustified by any genuine sense of principle or obvious ability, Lake would become deputy Mayor and hold the Cabinet brief for Children’s Services.
The tenure of Mayor Joanne Anderson was meant to signify recovery from Mayor Joe Anderson’s time, heavily criticised in the Caller Report, but it was marked by a series of disasters, some arguably rooted in Joe Anderson’s conduct of Liverpool City Council and some Joanne Anderson’s own…
But the issue for which Lake will be remembered is his time as Cabinet member for Children’s Social Care.
A damning Ofsted report has judged the department inadequate and that children were at risk of ‘being harmed or at risk of harm.’ At an emergency full council Cllr Liz Makinson proposed and I seconded a motion about the crisis.
Lake’s speech in the debate raised eyebrows. In a reprise of rapper Shaggy he effectively declared that: “it wasn’t me.” It was a “huge surprise as the scale of problems was never made clear to me.” He claimed that he was blocked from receiving information and pointed the finger at the now-departed Children’s Services Director Steve Reddy and CEO Tony Reeves, which surprised many of us on the opposition benches who had witnessed Lake’s warm words about both.
The circumstances of Lake’s departure are as opaque as the circumstances of his relationships with Reddy and Reeves.
According to his account, he applied for a union job a year ago and only got confirmation recently. If this is account is accurate then we must conclude Lake’s commitment to the people of Fazakerley was as shallow as his support for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.
LCI came a strong second in the seat in May, as they pointed out when rumours of Lake’s departure began to circulate:
With LCI’s standing in the city strengthened by the success of its candidates in formerly cast-iron Labour wards Orrell Park and Garston in May’s elections, and Labour’s popularity plummeting just as fast, following sewer-level campaigning and smears and the Labour-run council’s continued collusion with Tory-imposed commissioners in slashing budgets and services, the party will be seriously frit about its prospects even in what has historically been the strongest Labour area in the country.
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