This morning I was just checking to see whether Barnet Council had updated its website to add the two new councillors in Edgware and East Barnet and I noticed a very strange thing. Childs Hill Conservative councillor Shimon Ryde is now listed as an Independent Councillor.
There are no further details on the Council website, any press website or Twitter. As I don't know Councillor Ryde I cannot comment further. I have heard rumours through the grapevine that certain Conservative Councillors are very upset that former councillor Brian Coleman, who was convicted of assault by beating of Helen Michael in 2014, was the guest of honour of the Tory GLA candidate Roberto Weedon-Sanz at the GLA count at the weekend. Could this be the reason for the departure of Shimon Ryde or is there some other reason. This has clearly happened very recently as he is still listed at the councillor for Childs Hill on the Barnet Tories website.
The Barnet Eye calls on Councillor Ryde, The Barnet Tories and Barnet Council to explain what is going on. The people of Childs Hill need to know who is representing them and what they stand for. If Councillor Ryde has quit the Tories in disgust, they need to update their website and he needs to come clean with voters.
*** Update 16:30 ** The Barnet Tories Twitter account claim that Councillor Ryde has stepped aside from the group to 'deal with a personal matter' This is the first time in 13 years of writing a blog that we've seen such a statement.
Cllr Ryde has stepped back from the Conservative Group to deal with a personal matter, and we hope to welcome him back to the Group in the future.— Barnet Conservatives (@BarnetTories) May 11, 2021
Cllr Ryde has made clear that he continues to fully support the Leader and Conservative administration.
It is not clear whether he will continue as the chair of Strategic Planning in Barnet. We can understand why a councillor may wish to stand aside from being a councillor for personal reasons, but to step aside from the Conservative Group seems very strange. One would assume the Conservative Group would wish to support their colleague through a personal crisis?