If you live in Barnet and you are inclined towards the right rather than the left, you may well want to consider whether you would prefer to vote for the Conservatives or UKIP. Now as regular readers will know, the Barnet Eye is not a right leaning blog. We do however admire honesty and integrity across the political spectrum. In Barnet, the local UKIP candidate is Adrian Murray Leonard. Prior to 2010, I'd never heard of Mr Murray Leonard. He was chairman of the West Hendon Conservative Association. Long time readers of this blog will recall that when local Tory Council bigwigs awarded themselves a payrise, Mr Murray Leonard went public with his disgust. This story in the Hendon Times was our first encounter with Mr Murray Leonard
Given that Mr Murray Leonard was one of the few Barnet Conservatives to display any integrity over this matter, we kept a watchful eye on his career.
He next cropped up in 2011, after a public fallout with local Tory MP Matthew Offord. Mr Murray Leonard took Mr Offord to task for being a bit lazy and not serving his constituents. Mr Murray Leonard described himself as a "true Tory" and a Thatcherite. He described Mr Offord as like the Scarlett Pimpernell.
It was clear from this report that Mr Murray Leonard was not keen on people who get jobs at the taxpayers expense and then give nothing back.
Mr Offord hit back, using parliamentary priviledge to accuse Mr Murray Leonard of Anti Semitism
Mr Offord made the accusations from the floor of the House of Commons, where libel laws do not apply. Mr Offord, rather bizarrely stated "However, this individual started making anti-Semitic comments. Once I was elected, I would have no truck with any such individuals."
The statement made it quite clear that he was prepared to work with Mr Murray Leonard to get elected, but once he got the job, he was happy to dispense with his services. Mr Murray Leonard has always denied the charges and countered by saying that Offord simply didn't like Mr Murray Leonard asking him to do some work for his constituents. At the time of the accusations, the Barnet Eye spoke to friendly Hendon based Tory Councillors who stated that they were totally unaware of any whiff of Anti Semitism from Mr Murray Leonard and would have not worked with them, had their been any substance to such rumours.
Mr Offord has positioned himself to the right of the Tory Party. He has been very critical of the more Liberal parts of David Camerons agenda, such as Gay marriage. To my mind, the only difference between Offord and Murray Leonard is the issue of integrity, not political policies (although I am not aware of Mr Murray Leonards views on Gay Marriage. I will leave you to guess which one I think has more of it. When you cast your vote, it is something you may wish to consider.