Spellar to anoint Coyne for WMids Warley seat?

The West Midlands is, in terms of its Labour MPs, a hotbed of anti-Corbyn sentiment with some of the least likeable elements of the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party) on show.

Hot on the heels of the breaking news of Len McCluskey’s triumph over a grubby campaign by his main rival in the Unite leadership campaign, rumours – and at this stage that’s all they are – have reached the SKWAWKBOX that veteran MP John Spellar may be about to step down in an attempt to hand his Birmingham Warley seat to the defeated blairite challenger, Gerard Coyne.

spellar coyne
John Spellar and Gerard Coyne

Spellar – a man who infamously described the term ‘Momentum member’ as an insult on a BBC politics show – would certainly not want a pro-Corbyn candidate to replace him if he were thinking of standing down, as a number of right-wing Labour MPs such as Michael Dugher. Tom Blenkinsop and Alan Johnson have already announced they will.

If the rumours do turn out to have substance, it will put a man currently suspended by his union and under investigation by the Information Commissioner for his admitted use of Labour member data to which he had no legal right of access in the running to represent some of those same wronged members – and his election would install another MP, as his campaign has clearly demonstrated, with entrenched views diametrically opposed to the vast majority of Labour members.

Which, no doubt, would be the point. But given the amount of time the ICO and Unite investigations are likely to take, his parliamentary candidacy would be like handing a plate of custard pies to the Tories.

If you are a Labour member in Warley constituency, you may wish to start a clamour not to be represented by Gerard Coyne. Unfortunately, the local Labour machine has an established record for being willing to disenfranchise its members and may not allow them much of a say over the selection of a new PPC (prospective Parliamentary candidate).

McCluskey’s win has ensured that the Unite representatives on Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) are likely to remain unchanged – and may provide a platform for strengthening the pro-Corbyn position. Given the risk of an undemocratic procession if he’s shortlisted, it’s essential that the NEC does not allow Gerard Coyne anywhere near a parliamentary seat – and not only because of the Unite/ICO clouds hanging over him.

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  1. Except that John Spellar hasn’t been MP for Birmingham Northfields since 1983…..

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. I was in a selection for Stratford on Avon Spellar had two local prostitutes in his car to service him before he spoke

  3. John Speller’s Warley constituency is in the Black Country borough of Sandwell (think Smethwick; West Bromwich).
    Birmingham Northfield is, of course, the constituency of Richard Burden MP, who as far as I know is not standing down.

  4. Hmmm. One part of me wants to see him elected because then he will be out of our union. But the other part of me knows what an alleged twat he is and how much he allegedly would screw up the job.

    Hopefully his formal investigation by Unite will get to the bottom of things, but if the data protection allegations are true how can Unite ever trust him with access to members’ data ever again?

  5. When is the deadline for resignation? I thought it is tonight. If Coyne was accepted as a candidate he could be imposed on any CLP by the NEC candidate selection boards. But his current situation (suspended and possibly facing charges of Data Protection offences) should make him too toxic even for the most rabid ABCers.

    BTW where is Watson. I always worry when he goes underground.

    1. He was sat on the benches Wednesday Florence at PMQT.
      How could you miss him?
      He only opens his TRAP if he as something nasty to say about Jeremy or the LEFT.

      1. I saw PMQs but that is a different issue to when the deadline is for MPs to resign to be replaced through the emergency NEC GE17 procedures. They only have a short period in which to resign to be able to get candidates selected to fill the seats. The presumption is that if there is a strong local candidate they will go forward, but the worry is that the locals will be pushed aside for centrally approved candidates to be parachuted in. We won’t know if he has resigned until the closing time / date for resignations. Let’s hope he does resign if he finds he is in the wrong party or under the wrong leader. It would be difficult if all of those who were similarly inclined did resign, but I guess for many they will want to hold on to what they have. Being without a job in Tory UK PLC is a scary place even for the well-off it seems.

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