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Leader of London Conservative Group refuses to meet with Chavez

By Aleksander Boyd

London 12.05.06 | The good news keep coming. Bob Neill, Leader of the Conservative Group of London's Assembly, flatly refused to meet with President Hugo Chavez at the request of London's Mayor Ken Livingstone. In response to an invitation sent by Livingstone, the Conservative Group leader stated: "President Chavez is not a person whom I wish to meet and I do not believe he is an appropriate person to entertain at City Hall."

I was able to get copy of the entire email, which I reproduce here for the interest of readers:

From: Robert Neill
Sent: 10 May 2006 12:21
To: Ken Livingstone
Cc: Susannah Pickering-Saqqa
Subject: Invitation to private lunch with His Excellency Hugo Chavez Frias

Dear Ken

Thank you for your invitation which, with no discourtesy to you, I must decline. President Chavez is not a person whom I wish to meet and I do not believe he is an appropriate person to entertain at City Hall.

Unlike Presidents De Silva of Brazil and Kirchner of Argentina, who have pursued left of centre policies with scrupulous respect for the constitution and rule of law, President Chavez is well documented as having undermined pluralistic democracy, intimidated political opponents, rigged elections to congress and packed the supreme court with his own supporters. He is an obstacle to good relations with ordinary Venezuelans rather than an assistance.

I do not believe that London will profit from this visit.


Bob Neill
Leader of the London Assembly Conservative Group

But Mr. Neill's commendable and principled stance does not stop there, for he has also requested an explanation regarding the use of public resources and employees from the Mayor's Public Affairs Office, as this communication shows:

From: Robert Neill
Sent: 11 May 2006 11:27
To: Anthony Mayer
Subject: Use of resources

Dear Anthony

It has come to my attention that an event is being held on Sunday 14 May 2006 at the Camden Centre, London WC1, which is hosting a speech by the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. This event is being organised by the Venezuelan Information Centre.

To obtain free tickets for this event you have to contact the following: Anna Roberts at her City Hall email address, and Sandeep Sra, also at her City Hall email address. Both are employed in Mayor's Public Affairs Office.

As this is a private event, I question whether this is an appropriate use of GLA resources and would be grateful if you could look into this matter.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Kind regards - Bob

At last some Londoners are reacting to the misdemeanours of the abusive Mayor and the troop of Chavez's propagandists operating in his office.

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