Former independent MP, Martin Bell, joined Siobhan Benita for breakfast today at one of the West End’s best known pubs – The Coach & Horses.
|Siobhan Benita with Martin Bell this morning|
The pub, notable for its association with the columnist Jeffrey Bernard and the staff of Private Eye magazine, is being dubbed “The Coach and Benita” pub for the rest of the election campaign as it’s been decked out inside as a fan club in support of Siobhan Benita's campaign, with Siobhan Benita posters and balloons, and bar staff wearing 'Siobhan Benita for Mayor 2012’ t-shirts.
The breakfast meeting came as a poll revealed that Siobhan Benita is now neck and neck with the Lib Dems’ candidate, Brian Paddick, despite having not been included in the TV debates and barred from having an election broadcast
|Siobhan Benita discussing the campaign|
Today Ofcom ruled that ITV had given Ms Benita “fair coverage” in its mayoral debate as it had shown a photo of her during the debate – and an audience member had mentioned her name. Siobhan Benita said:
“The Ofcom ruling is farcical. It’s typical of the way I’ve been treated throughout this whole campaign by the broadcasters. My campaign has been seriously hindered by outdated rules based on parties and past election results. Despite all of that, and despite having no party machine or funding behind me, I am now neck and neck with Brian Paddick in the latest poll and my campaign is gathering new supporters from across the political spectrum every day. I’m hoping Londoners will send a strong message to the traditional political parties that they want something new from their public leaders and want a mayor who will put Londoners, not party politics, first.”
|Enjoying breakfast at the Coach and Horses|
Explaining why he’d decked his pub out to support Siobhan Benita, Alastair Choat, the pub's Independent landlord said: “The Coach & Horses has always been an independent pub and must remain so, despite the current landlords trying to bully it into another chain. Siobhan Benita is an independent candidate who offers Londoners the most exciting opportunity to free their city from the bullying grip of party politics, to which Ken and Boris are so enslaved. Siobhan will have the most dynamic impact of all the candidates in being elected Mayor of this huge City. Come on London, this is the hour for independence!”
Siobhan Benita said: "I'm delighted that an iconic independent institution like the Coach & Horses is supporting my campaign as I want to “run a coach and horses” through the traditional party political system.”