Rabi Martins to challenge mayor Dorothy Thornhill in the battle to be Watford’s parliamentary candidate

Rabi Martins to challenge mayor Dorothy Thornhill in the battle to be Watford’s parliamentary candidate

Rabi Martins to challenge mayor Dorothy Thornhill in the battle to be Watford’s parliamentary candidate

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A veteran Liberal Democrat councillor is challenging elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill in the battle to be Watford’s parliamentary candidate.

Rabi Martins, who represents central Watford on the borough council, has applied for to be the party’s candidate for the General Election.

Applications for the role closed this week and both the mayor and Councillor Martins' names are on the long list.

That list will be whittled down to a shortlist of candidates who will go before association members in a hustings in the coming weeks.

This week Councillor Martins said he had thrown his hat into the ring as becoming an MP was a "long-held ambition" of his.

He said: "I tried for it before (in 2004) when Sal Brinton narrowly beat me and did not stand again (in 2010) as I did not think it was worth it. It is something I have a big desire to do - I would love to be the MP for Watford. Watford is my town. Watford needs a good MP and I think I could be it."

Councillor Martins was first elected to Watford Borough Council for Central in 1994 but lost his seat in 1998. He was re-elected to the council in 1999 and has served as a councillor ever since.

The retired business consultant has stood for parliament twice before for the Liberal Democrats in Hornchurch, in London, in 1997 and in Luton South in 2001.

He also applied to be the Lib Dem candidate for Watford in 2004 but was beaten by Sal Brinton, who was the party’s candidate in 2005 and 2010.

His decision to make a bid for the candidacy this time will see him come into competition with elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill.

The mayor has refused to rule out standing in next year’s General Election despite running for and winning a fourth term at town hall in May and the Watford Observer understands she is on the long list for the Watford parliamentary candidate.

Councillor Martins said: "Dorothy Thornhill has been an excellent mayor. I think having an excellent MP and an excellent mayor would be an unbeatable dream team. That is what I believe genuinely and is what I will try and persuade the party members that is what is best for the town and for the party."

Comments (22)

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5:44pm Thu 21 Aug 14

phil mitchel says...

They must think the electorate are stupid, Rabi Martins is just the stalking horse while Thornhill is the real mare in this race.
They must think the electorate are stupid, Rabi Martins is just the stalking horse while Thornhill is the real mare in this race. phil mitchel
  • Score: 4

5:54pm Thu 21 Aug 14

enlightened one says...

More of a stalking donkey.
More of a stalking donkey. enlightened one
  • Score: 3

6:05pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Harry Caine says...

What? He's deserted Luton North after a 4.5% decrease in the share of the poll in 2010?
What? He's deserted Luton North after a 4.5% decrease in the share of the poll in 2010? Harry Caine
  • Score: 1

6:28pm Thu 21 Aug 14

theturpster says...

Anyone but Dorothy surely, never had any dealings with this Mr Martins. Has he been found out trying to deceive and ignore the voices of the electorate and residents of West Watford?
Anyone but Dorothy surely, never had any dealings with this Mr Martins. Has he been found out trying to deceive and ignore the voices of the electorate and residents of West Watford? theturpster
  • Score: 1

6:35pm Thu 21 Aug 14

ancientandageing says...

Oh dear looks desperate stuff to me
still its Labour v Tory in Watford and this is just a side show
Oh dear looks desperate stuff to me still its Labour v Tory in Watford and this is just a side show ancientandageing
  • Score: -6

8:06pm Thu 21 Aug 14

MaryWatford says...

Long time Watford Cllr - bound to do a better job than Harrington ( what has he done with his term???????). Good luck to him.
Long time Watford Cllr - bound to do a better job than Harrington ( what has he done with his term???????). Good luck to him. MaryWatford
  • Score: -8

8:37pm Thu 21 Aug 14

phil mitchel says...

I am far from a Tory voter but I have had dealings with Harrington, I found him a straight forward kinda bloke who does respond when you ask a question which is more that Thornhill.
I am far from a Tory voter but I have had dealings with Harrington, I found him a straight forward kinda bloke who does respond when you ask a question which is more that Thornhill. phil mitchel
  • Score: 8

9:20pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Andrew1963 says...

Rabi hates Thornhill, as he is constantly overlooked by her, in favour of rising stars like Keith Crout and Steve Johnson. At least he might regain some of the Asian vote at a stretch.. Of course he has ambitions to reach further, but his standing among the 150 odd Lib Dem members is pretty low, so I expected without a significant lift up from activists he fill fall short of getting the nomination. This is probably his last chance to fight a general election as 2020 will be way beyond him.
Rabi hates Thornhill, as he is constantly overlooked by her, in favour of rising stars like Keith Crout and Steve Johnson. At least he might regain some of the Asian vote at a stretch.. Of course he has ambitions to reach further, but his standing among the 150 odd Lib Dem members is pretty low, so I expected without a significant lift up from activists he fill fall short of getting the nomination. This is probably his last chance to fight a general election as 2020 will be way beyond him. Andrew1963
  • Score: -1

9:30pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Cuetip says...

phil mitchel wrote:
I am far from a Tory voter but I have had dealings with Harrington, I found him a straight forward kinda bloke who does respond when you ask a question which is more that Thornhill.
I suppose it depends on the sort of question you ask him egwhere is the 'new hospital', allotments sell off for developers, EU referendum, reform / cronyism of the Hse of Lords, Israel & Gaza as well as UN on illegal settlements, voting to bomb Assad, the botched pirivitisation of the Post Office.
[quote][p][bold]phil mitchel[/bold] wrote: I am far from a Tory voter but I have had dealings with Harrington, I found him a straight forward kinda bloke who does respond when you ask a question which is more that Thornhill.[/p][/quote]I suppose it depends on the sort of question you ask him egwhere is the 'new hospital', allotments sell off for developers, EU referendum, reform / cronyism of the Hse of Lords, Israel & Gaza as well as UN on illegal settlements, voting to bomb Assad, the botched pirivitisation of the Post Office. Cuetip
  • Score: 3

9:40pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Cuetip says...

'Councillor Martins said he had thrown his hat into the ring as becoming an MP was a "long-held ambition" of his'.

Wow fact is stranger than fiction.

Mind you given the local Tory defections to Liberal it seems vote Liberal you get a Tory or vice versa. Must be remembered, the local Tory party viewed electors in 11 out of 12 wards as unworthy and will shell out to get their propaganda leaflets out as the election gathers pace by outsiders.
'Councillor Martins said he had thrown his hat into the ring as becoming an MP was a "long-held ambition" of his'. Wow fact is stranger than fiction. Mind you given the local Tory defections to Liberal it seems vote Liberal you get a Tory or vice versa. Must be remembered, the local Tory party viewed electors in 11 out of 12 wards as unworthy and will shell out to get their propaganda leaflets out as the election gathers pace by outsiders. Cuetip
  • Score: 5

10:08pm Thu 21 Aug 14

dented says...

MaryWatford wrote:
Long time Watford Cllr - bound to do a better job than Harrington ( what has he done with his term???????). Good luck to him.
Harrington spammed me and claimed I'd given him permission to do so.
[quote][p][bold]MaryWatford[/bold] wrote: Long time Watford Cllr - bound to do a better job than Harrington ( what has he done with his term???????). Good luck to him.[/p][/quote]Harrington spammed me and claimed I'd given him permission to do so. dented
  • Score: -4

10:09pm Thu 21 Aug 14

dented says...

phil mitchel wrote:
I am far from a Tory voter but I have had dealings with Harrington, I found him a straight forward kinda bloke who does respond when you ask a question which is more that Thornhill.
Only when it's a question he wants to answer.
[quote][p][bold]phil mitchel[/bold] wrote: I am far from a Tory voter but I have had dealings with Harrington, I found him a straight forward kinda bloke who does respond when you ask a question which is more that Thornhill.[/p][/quote]Only when it's a question he wants to answer. dented
  • Score: 3

10:21pm Thu 21 Aug 14

ancientandageing says...

Andrew1963 wrote:
Rabi hates Thornhill, as he is constantly overlooked by her, in favour of rising stars like Keith Crout and Steve Johnson. At least he might regain some of the Asian vote at a stretch.. Of course he has ambitions to reach further, but his standing among the 150 odd Lib Dem members is pretty low, so I expected without a significant lift up from activists he fill fall short of getting the nomination. This is probably his last chance to fight a general election as 2020 will be way beyond him.
is Steve Johnson the Tory who went Libdem then got a cabenit post and extra allowance or some such,oh and was that after he stod for Mayour on platform of cutting Mayour salarey by 20% or was that a different Steve Johnson
[quote][p][bold]Andrew1963[/bold] wrote: Rabi hates Thornhill, as he is constantly overlooked by her, in favour of rising stars like Keith Crout and Steve Johnson. At least he might regain some of the Asian vote at a stretch.. Of course he has ambitions to reach further, but his standing among the 150 odd Lib Dem members is pretty low, so I expected without a significant lift up from activists he fill fall short of getting the nomination. This is probably his last chance to fight a general election as 2020 will be way beyond him.[/p][/quote]is Steve Johnson the Tory who went Libdem then got a cabenit post and extra allowance or some such,oh and was that after he stod for Mayour on platform of cutting Mayour salarey by 20% or was that a different Steve Johnson ancientandageing
  • Score: 4

8:21am Fri 22 Aug 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

The LibDems are toast at the General election, no matter who they put up.

They are just fighting for third place and against electoral humiliation.
The LibDems are toast at the General election, no matter who they put up. They are just fighting for third place and against electoral humiliation. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 2

10:31am Fri 22 Aug 14

ancientandageing says...

Phil Cox (UKIP) wrote:
The LibDems are toast at the General election, no matter who they put up.

They are just fighting for third place and against electoral humiliation.
this is nonsense nationally they will get third place a long way ahead of the scots Nats ulster unionists Sinn feinn Playd and then greens and UKIP getting maybe one or none.
Locally they will get third a long easily but a long way behind Labour and Tory UKIP have no chance of getting a top three finish
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox (UKIP)[/bold] wrote: The LibDems are toast at the General election, no matter who they put up. They are just fighting for third place and against electoral humiliation.[/p][/quote]this is nonsense nationally they will get third place a long way ahead of the scots Nats ulster unionists Sinn feinn Playd and then greens and UKIP getting maybe one or none. Locally they will get third a long easily but a long way behind Labour and Tory UKIP have no chance of getting a top three finish ancientandageing
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Arthur says...

dented wrote:
MaryWatford wrote:
Long time Watford Cllr - bound to do a better job than Harrington ( what has he done with his term???????). Good luck to him.
Harrington spammed me and claimed I'd given him permission to do so.
Did you catch anything dodgy?
[quote][p][bold]dented[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MaryWatford[/bold] wrote: Long time Watford Cllr - bound to do a better job than Harrington ( what has he done with his term???????). Good luck to him.[/p][/quote]Harrington spammed me and claimed I'd given him permission to do so.[/p][/quote]Did you catch anything dodgy? Arthur
  • Score: 4

3:24pm Fri 22 Aug 14

MJ1 says...

Phil Cox (UKIP) wrote:
The LibDems are toast at the General election, no matter who they put up.

They are just fighting for third place and against electoral humiliation.
First time I have agreed with an analysis by UKIP.
Labour favourites to beat Tories. Lib Dems In third place fight with UKIP.
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox (UKIP)[/bold] wrote: The LibDems are toast at the General election, no matter who they put up. They are just fighting for third place and against electoral humiliation.[/p][/quote]First time I have agreed with an analysis by UKIP. Labour favourites to beat Tories. Lib Dems In third place fight with UKIP. MJ1
  • Score: 4

9:51pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Cuetip says...

ancientandageing wrote:
Andrew1963 wrote:
Rabi hates Thornhill, as he is constantly overlooked by her, in favour of rising stars like Keith Crout and Steve Johnson. At least he might regain some of the Asian vote at a stretch.. Of course he has ambitions to reach further, but his standing among the 150 odd Lib Dem members is pretty low, so I expected without a significant lift up from activists he fill fall short of getting the nomination. This is probably his last chance to fight a general election as 2020 will be way beyond him.
is Steve Johnson the Tory who went Libdem then got a cabenit post and extra allowance or some such,oh and was that after he stod for Mayour on platform of cutting Mayour salarey by 20% or was that a different Steve Johnson
The plot thickens as the big question is whether Rabi asked his pal Harrington for permission?

Didn't the very much overlooked Rabi have an itch to join the Tories in 2011 which Tory Steve Johnson should know as the defected ex Tory chair and probably snitched on him to his new bosom pals?

Mexican jumping beans comes to mind.
[quote][p][bold]ancientandageing[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew1963[/bold] wrote: Rabi hates Thornhill, as he is constantly overlooked by her, in favour of rising stars like Keith Crout and Steve Johnson. At least he might regain some of the Asian vote at a stretch.. Of course he has ambitions to reach further, but his standing among the 150 odd Lib Dem members is pretty low, so I expected without a significant lift up from activists he fill fall short of getting the nomination. This is probably his last chance to fight a general election as 2020 will be way beyond him.[/p][/quote]is Steve Johnson the Tory who went Libdem then got a cabenit post and extra allowance or some such,oh and was that after he stod for Mayour on platform of cutting Mayour salarey by 20% or was that a different Steve Johnson[/p][/quote]The plot thickens as the big question is whether Rabi asked his pal Harrington for permission? Didn't the very much overlooked Rabi have an itch to join the Tories in 2011 which Tory Steve Johnson should know as the defected ex Tory chair and probably snitched on him to his new bosom pals? Mexican jumping beans comes to mind. Cuetip
  • Score: -2

10:07pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Cuetip, you make local politics between the LibLabCon look like a swingers party for politicians.

Can you name any local politicians who have integrity and a political philosophy they are prepared to stand up for? There must be one or two, surely?

Do we really want politicians whose urge to hang on to power is greater than their urge to hang on to their principles?

There must be a better way and a lot of deadwood to clear from our political elite here in Watford.
Cuetip, you make local politics between the LibLabCon look like a swingers party for politicians. Can you name any local politicians who have integrity and a political philosophy they are prepared to stand up for? There must be one or two, surely? Do we really want politicians whose urge to hang on to power is greater than their urge to hang on to their principles? There must be a better way and a lot of deadwood to clear from our political elite here in Watford. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -5

10:52pm Fri 22 Aug 14

sun clock tower says...

Councillor Martins could be the the persons with integrity. Could the promises of the Watford Councils 'Aims and Objectives' actually be realistic..?' With him at the Helm.
Councillor Martins could be the the persons with integrity. Could the promises of the Watford Councils 'Aims and Objectives' actually be realistic..?' With him at the Helm. sun clock tower
  • Score: -3

12:49pm Tue 26 Aug 14

garston tony says...

Nothing against Rabi Martins but I half hope that the Lib Dems do go for Dotty as that'll show how little regard she and they actually have for Watford.

The fact she refuses to withdraw from contention is a massive two fingers to the people that just voted her in as Mayor (sorry, but what on earth where you lot thinking exactly?) but should she be nominated that would move to a flagrant middle finger to us all.

That should spell the end of her but a) she'll probably not resign as mayor whilst she runs for MP and if she isnt elected will carry on like nothing has happened, like she hasnt shown herself up for caring more about her career than the town and b) seeing as a significant amount of idiots voted her in as mayor theres a good chance the same people could get her voted in as MP.

What should have happened is when she decided to re stand for Mayor she should have removed herself from contention to become MP. If she was not willing to do that she should not have re stood to become mayor. She's lost all credibility and I have lost faith in fellow voters who still fell for her
Nothing against Rabi Martins but I half hope that the Lib Dems do go for Dotty as that'll show how little regard she and they actually have for Watford. The fact she refuses to withdraw from contention is a massive two fingers to the people that just voted her in as Mayor (sorry, but what on earth where you lot thinking exactly?) but should she be nominated that would move to a flagrant middle finger to us all. That should spell the end of her but a) she'll probably not resign as mayor whilst she runs for MP and if she isnt elected will carry on like nothing has happened, like she hasnt shown herself up for caring more about her career than the town and b) seeing as a significant amount of idiots voted her in as mayor theres a good chance the same people could get her voted in as MP. What should have happened is when she decided to re stand for Mayor she should have removed herself from contention to become MP. If she was not willing to do that she should not have re stood to become mayor. She's lost all credibility and I have lost faith in fellow voters who still fell for her garston tony
  • Score: 5

11:52pm Tue 26 Aug 14

WatfordAlex88 says...

It's good that Rabi is standing, and I hope he gets the nomination. I've been put off by the way the Lib Dems have attacked him and have the knives out for him at the moment. There is deep unease that Thornhill and her machine have deselected a senior active councillor because of her free thinking in North Watford at the same time giving Steve Johnson, a former Tory, a safe seat and a plush cabinet position. Many activists are concerned how safe seats are being given to cronies. Perhaps Councillor Martins can be the change candidate and reach out to people that Thornhill can't.
It's good that Rabi is standing, and I hope he gets the nomination. I've been put off by the way the Lib Dems have attacked him and have the knives out for him at the moment. There is deep unease that Thornhill and her machine have deselected a senior active councillor because of her free thinking in North Watford at the same time giving Steve Johnson, a former Tory, a safe seat and a plush cabinet position. Many activists are concerned how safe seats are being given to cronies. Perhaps Councillor Martins can be the change candidate and reach out to people that Thornhill can't. WatfordAlex88
  • Score: 0

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