David Cameron claimed to be wooing Hackney voters as he kicked off his campaign trail in Shoreditch on Monday night.
But while more than 1000 Conservative supporters packed the trendy Village Underground venue real Hackney residents were thin on the ground.
After his wife Samantha’s televised interview by Trevor McDonald on Sunday, the Conservative leader joked that he was “beginning to be overshadowed by his wife”.
Cameron said that Hackney was “now a marginal constituency”.
But aside from Conservative candidates Darren Caplan and Simon Nayyar and approved candidate Graeme Archer, The Hackney Post was unable to find any Hackney residents among the invited guests. Out of more than 20 randomly selected spectators, 17 were from north and west London, one was from Walthamstow and two were Australian.
A Conservative source said: “This is essentially a London wide meeting. It brings in the Conservative community from all over the city and it gives an opportunity for David to present our message for London and the community.”
Keith Angus, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington said “There’s very little Conservative support in Hackney.
“Hackney is a liberal place. It’s not Toryville.”
Cameron was joined by fellow front benchers Eric Pickles, the party’s chairman, and Sayeeda Warsi, Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion.
His speech focused on education and the economy.
Having slated the government for the size of its financial deficit, Cameron referred to the Greek government who were bailed out by the EU last week.
He said: “Greece is somewhere you should go for your holiday, not for financial advice.”
“When are these people going to understand that we haven’t got any money. Gordon, it’s over.”
Darren Caplan, prospective parliamentary candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington said:
“It’s great the first election rally was held in Hackney. It demonstrates that no area is a no-go for the Conservative party.
He said there was a cross section of British people there.
“It’s fair to say it was an event in Hackney but not just for Hackney.
“There were people from Hackney there but also people from different parts of London as well.”
To see a short video of excerpts from the speech, click here.