A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Labourlist Column

My Labourlist column this week is about the attacks in Norway: http://www.labourlist.org/rest-in-peace-young-comrades

Friday, July 22, 2011

Council by-elections

Just two yesterday:

Glyder Ward, Gwynedd CC. PC hold. PC 207 (39.4%, -25), LD 194 (36.9%, +1.4), Lab 65 (12.4%, +12.4), Con 60 (11.4%, +11.4). Swing of 13.2% from PC to LD since 2008.

Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe Ward, Wokingham UA. Con hold. Con 850 (65.9%, +0.6), LD 272 (21.1%, -7.1), Lab 94 (7.3%, +0.8), UKIP 55 (4.3%, +4.3), Green 19 (1.5%, +1.5). Swing of 4% from LD to Con since 2010.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Labour's New General Secretary

I've used my Progress column this week to say a bit about the NEC decision I was part of yesterday to appoint Iain McNicol as Labour's new General Secretary:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Link of the day

Every now and then you read something and think "I wish I had written that".

I feel that way about this post on Friday on Labour Uncut by Kevin Meagher:


The only bit I would change is delete "CLP Chairs" and insert "CLP Chairs and Secretaries" - no offence to Chairs but in the Labour movement it's the Secretary which is the key and extremely onerous position at every level. Chairs get phoned up by the Sunday Times because in local Tory Associations Chair is the key political position, and Sunday Times journos assume the same applies to Labour, whereas in many (not all) CLPs the Chair basically chairs the meetings and it's the Secretary who "leads" the CLP (to the limited extent that any Labour Party unit is open to the idea of being led).

He will be pleased to know that Refounding Labour isn't going to involve the kind of top-down liquidation of structures he rightly fears.

Labourlist Column

My Labourlist column today says "I told you so":

Friday, July 15, 2011

Council by-election

Only one yesterday:

Old Catton Division, Norfolk CC. Con hold. Con 664 (40.6%, -8.2), LD 414 (25.3%, +11.8), Lab 377 (23%, +12.2), UKIP 107 (6.5%, -9.7), Green 75 (4.6%, -6). Swing of 10% from Con to LD since 2009. This is in the Norwich North parliamentary constituency.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

GLA Candidates

Hat-tip to labourlist for the full list of Labour's candidates for the GLA next May:

Labour London Assembly constituency members / candidates:
Jennette Arnold AM (North East) *
John Biggs AM (City and East)*
Len Duvall AM (Greenwich and Lewisham)*
Navin Shah AM (Brent and Harrow)*
Val Shawcross AM (Lambeth and Southwark)*
Joanne McCartney AM (Enfield and Haringey)*
Lisa Homan (South West)
Josie Channer (Bexley and Bromley)
Leonie Cooper (Merton and Wandsworth)
Louisa Woodley (Croydon and Sutton)
Mandy Richards (Havering and Redbridge)
Andrew Dismore (Barnet and Camden)
Onkar Sahota (Ealing and Hillingdon)
Todd Foreman (West Central)

Labour London Assembly list members / candidates:
1.Nicky Gavron AM *
2.Murad Qureshi AM *
3.Fiona Twycross
4.Tom Copley
5.Florence Nosegbe
6.Unmesh Desai
7.Kirsten Hearn
8.Liquat Ali
9.Mabel McKeown
10.Kevin McGrath
11.Seema Malhotra

(* = current AM)

The results last time are here:

Progress column

More musings on Friday's Blair speech (and a bit of a random metaphor about Napoleonic military history) in my Progress column:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Labour Faith Network

Just a quick plug for tonight's Labour Faith Network launch - 7pm on Monday 11 July in Committee Room 7 of the House of Commons.

Labour Faith Network is a new grouping of Labour party members from the major faiths, who want to see the party reconnect with faith communities across the UK. The chair is Cllr Abdal Ullah from Tower Hamlets, and the sponsor of the event is Gavin Shuker MP. Lord Glasman is the guest speaker.

There's more info here: http://www.progressives.org.uk/columns/column.asp?c=715

They are a persuassive bunch as they've got me signed up as a supporter even though I'm an atheist!

Labourlist column

My Labourlist column this week look's at Tony Blair's speech on Friday and gives it 7/10:

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Council By-elections

Five tonight, some great results for Labour:

Sawley Division, Derbyshire CC. Lab gain from Ind. Lab 1351 (41.7%, +30.9), Con 1197 (36.9%, +12.8), LD 692 (21.4%, +10.7). Swing of 9.1% from Con to Lab since 2009.

Lytchett Matravers Division, Purbeck DC. Con gain from LD. Con 669 (52.7% +6.1%) Lib Dem 599 (47.3% -6.1%). Swing of 6.1% from LD to Con since 2010.

Peckham Ward, LB Southwark. Lab hold. Lab 1754 (70.1%, +7.8), LD 554 (22.1%, +3.2), Con 86 (3.4%, -5.1), TUSC 63 (2.5%, +2.5), Green 46 (1.8%, -4.3). Swing of 2.3% from LD to Lab since 2010.

Churnet Valley Division, Staffordshire CC. Con hold. Con 1063 (52%, -1.9), Lab 491 (24%, +4.4), UKIP 316 (15.5%, +15.5), LD 173 (8.5%, -18). Swing of 3.2% from Con to Lab since 2009.

Horbury & South Ossett Ward, Wakefield MBC. Lab gain from Con. Majority of 715. Lab 1776 (51.5%, +2.2), Con 1061 (30.8%, -10.5), UKIP 232 (6.7%, +6.7), LD 200 (5.8%, -3.7), Ind 93 (2.7%, +2.7), Ind 88 (2.6%, +2.6). Swing of 6.4% from Con to Lab since May this year.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Labour NEC, CAC and NCC elections

For the geekier Labour watchers amongst you, the nominations have closed on a number of internal Labour elections that take place at Annual Conference:


Division I - Trade Unions

13 candidates nominated for 12 places (at least 6 must be women):

Rebecca Peterson ASLEF
Andy Kerr CWU - incumbent
Mary Turner GMB - incumbent
Andy Worth GMB - incumbent
Harriet Yeo TSSA - incumbent
Jim Kennedy UCATT - incumbent
Keith Birch UNISON - incumbent
Wendy Nichols UNISON
Jennie Formby UNITE
Rachael Maskell UNITE - incumbent
Martin Mayer UNITE
Paddy Lillis USDAW - incumbent

I would expect this to boil down into a contest between ASLEF which is more leftwing but smaller and the larger but more moderate Community for the final slot of the 12.

Incumbent members Norma Stephenson (UNISON and current NEC Chair), Cath Speight (UNITE and current Chair of Organisation Committee) and Chris Weldon (UNITE) are not restanding so this represents a loss of quite a few very experienced members of the TU section of the NEC.

Division II - Socialist Societies

1 seat - uncontested

Connor McGinn - Labour Party Irish Society

Connor replaces Simon Wright of LGBT Labour.


The NCC deals with disciplinary matters.

Two elected uncontested

Richard Ascough GMB
Lee Vasey UNITE

Two seats (gender quota has already been met)

Rose Burley (incumbent) - 34 nominations
Kevin Hepworth (incumbent) - 25 nominations
Mark James (Grassroots Alliance supported) - 39 nominations
John Wiseman (Further to the left than the Grassroots Alliance) - 17 nominations

Conference Arrangements Committee – CLP Section

Two to be elected – at least one woman

Sue Anderson - 1 nomination
Presley Antoine - 1 nomination
Michael Clarke - 1 nomination
Catherine Donovan - 47 nominations (Grassroots Alliance supported)
Ann Groves - 1 nomination
Robert Gunn - 1 nomination
Gary Heather - 40 nominations (Grassroots Alliance supported)
Seema Malhotra - 82 nominations
Martin Phillips - 28 nominations
Rachel Reeves MP - 34 nominations
John Wiseman - 6 nominations

Progress Column

My Progress column this week looks at the abolition of elections for the Shadow Cabinet:


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Labourlist column

In my Labourlist column today I tell them they've got it wrong about last week's strikes:


Friday, July 01, 2011

On the Telly

I was on the Daily Politics on BBC2 yesterday, talking (for about 20 seconds) about Blue Labour:

Council by-elections

As well as the impressive Inverclyde parliamentary by-election result, there were very good swings to Labour in the only two council by-elections yesterday, both in safe Tory wards:

Cheshunt Central Ward, Broxbourne DC. Con hold. Con 742 (53.1%, -14.8), Lab 481 (34.4%, +14), UKIP 88 (6.3%, +6.3), Ind 62 (4.4%, +4.4), LD 24 (1.7%, +1.7). Swing of 14.4% from Con to Lab since May this year.

Thamesfield Ward, LB Wandsworth. Con hold. Con 1497 (45.8%, -12.1), Lab 1022 (32.3%, +15.5), LD 545 (16.7%, +1.7); Green 202 (6.2%, -4.1). Swing of 13.8% from Con to Lab since 2010.

Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount