MPs complaining about other MPs on ‘their’ patch should read this

A Twitter spat developed around a visit by Labour front-bencher Chris Williamson to Teesside last night that seems to be a continuation of a phenomenon first noted by the SKWAWKBOX, in which ‘moderate’ MPs are objecting to other Labour MPs visiting, or speaking in, ‘their’ constituency.

Labour back-bencher Lucy Powell tweeted publicly to rebuke Williamson for his temerity in visiting Teesside to launch a new Momentum branch without checking with the local Labour MP first. Ms Powell – who is MP for Manchester Central – was clearly offended by Williamson’s decision to attend:

powell1.png

Of course, tweeting public rebukes to a colleague hardly helps unite and fight the Tories either, even if the complaint were justified – but in this case it was a case of crossed wires, as Williamson clarified that he was in the neighbouring constituency, although the new Momentum branch covers both:

powell2.png

To be fair to the MP in the neighbouring constituency, she seemed fairly sanguine about the whole matter and Ms Powell was objecting to a visit in a colleague’s area rather than her own. There is, of course, no obligation on MPs to give notice of a visit, but as a matter of courtesy many would opt to do so.

However, in other areas there does seem to be a tendency for some MPs to act very territorially, objecting to their colleagues attending events arranged by Labour members or Momentum on ‘their’ patch.

It’s not clear whether this is born out of a sense of denial of the demand for more left-wing speakers in areas with a ‘moderate’ MP, as a way of trying to ‘starve’ local groups with which the MP might not agree or for some other reason – but any MP who is tempted to create a fuss or discourage other MPs from ‘intruding’ would do well to take a look at a couple of very interesting historical letters that the SKWAWKBOX came across recently.

Bernie Grant became one of the UK’s first black MPs when he was elected to represent Tottenham in 1987 and was an energetic campaigner for the involvement of black people in politics, founding the Parliamentary Black Caucus and travelling up and down the country to speak to interested audiences.

While still a candidate for election, he received a letter from Birmingham MPs expressing their anger at his plan to speak in ‘their’ area on the topic of engaging voters in the impending election:

corbett

Grant’s response was forthright:

bernie grant

“I am certainly not prepared to be dictated to about where I should go – as far as I know there are no pass laws in Britain yet”.

The SKWAWKBOX spoke to Chris Williamson MP, who didn’t pull any punches. He told this blog:

Westminster bubble merchants get very excited about outdated protocols. But in the real world they’re meaningless. Obsessing about which MPs are visiting which constituency reinforces the view, held by a large proportion of the public, that politicians are out of touch with reality.

My advice is start concentrating on things that matter, like winning support for a Labour Govt that will implement common sense socialism.

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland (MSEC) is now a Tory-held seat, following the decision of the ‘moderate’ Tom Blenkinsop not to contest the General Election after the loss a significant council seat late in his tenure during the May elections, which he blamed on his party leader in spite of the ‘Corbyn surge’ that materialised in almost every other part of the country.

Seats like MSEC need all the support available and Labour has embarked on a programme of campaigning targeted at exactly such marginal seats. Few members or voters would consider any existing MPs justified in trying to exercise an effective veto on where such campaigning takes place or by whom it is done.

The example from the left, however, does both promote unity and make the defeat of the Tories more likely, as Williamson’s fellow front-bencher observed this week:

The SKWAWKBOX applauds every MP and activist who is prepared to put in the effort and miles to campaign around the country and hopes that each one will take the same approach as the late Bernie Grant if anyone tries to impede them.

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20 responses to “MPs complaining about other MPs on ‘their’ patch should read this

  1. Pingback: MPs complaining about other MPs on ‘their’ patch should read this | Hercules space·

  2. Lucy Powell would be well advised to refrain from posting divisive, ill-displined and agressively rude tweets attacking fellow Labour MPs.

    If Lucy didn’t spend so much of her time plotting against the leadership of the Labour Party and constantly undermining and briefing against the party, she would be able to spend more time representing the constituency which returned her to parliament.

    This constant sniping and persistent acts of sabotage by Lucy Powell and her Cooperative Party colleagues is damaging the electability of the Labour Party. It is unacceptable behaviour.

    If the Cooperative Party wishes to continue to benefit from its electoral agreement with Labour then its MPs and surrogates will have to stop sabotaging the Labour Party.

    If they continue with their attacks they will leave the Labour Party with no choice but to revoke the agreement.

    Cooperative MPs would then be free to test their electability on their own terms by standing as candidates against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: MPs complaining about other MPs on ‘their’ patch should read this | Jaffer's blog·

  4. I wonder how many Momentum members went out and canvassed for Lucy Powell , likewise same for pro Corbyn members of her CLP .
    Chris Williamson first class MP and perhaps Ms Powell could certainly learn a thing or two from him re supporting the grass roots membership in taking the fight to the Tories and not her own colleagues.
    Well done CHris keep up the great work and love the short Video clips you are now doing , maybe Lucy would like to follow suit and give us her take on things in Westminster

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lucy Powell, and her fellow divisive right wing belligerent agitators, are the last people in the world one would turn to for advice on good manners.

      Liked by 1 person

    • IMHO one has to question the capabilities and strength of character of this MP if she over-reacts so badly to a fellow MP visiting an adjacent MPs constituency to help support the creation of a grass roots membership team under Momentum , who will and do fight for a Labour Govt ( remember, now anyone who wants to be part of Momentum has to be a member of the Labour party ) . If Lucy had an issue with this visit it would have been polite and professional to take it up with Chris in PRIVATE not doing the dirty washing in public. I wonder if the visit by Chris had been to do with the “Progress grp ” if her reaction would have been somewhat different ?
      I for one would welcome increased activity like this, with various MPs visiting and speaking to CLPs ( at the memberships request ) to help inform , educate and see things from potentially alternative view points . Its all about democratising and opening up the party , not closing it down restricting the membership in constituencies to view things solely through the eyes of their MP.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. LUCY POWELL, IS A RIGHT WING WINGER WHO SHOULD MIND HER TONGUE!
    SHE TALKS OF UNITY!
    THEN SHE DRIVELLS ON ABOUT OUR LEADER JEREMY WHO ISN’T THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB!
    SO MUCH FOR UNITY!
    AS SHE NO APPREHENSION OF HER VULNERABILITY WHEN SHE ATTACKS THE VERY PERSON WHO CAN AND WILL BE THE NEXT PM?
    SHE NEEDS TO CHANGE HER VIEWS GET ON BOARD AND STOP WHINGING ABOUT THE FUTURE OF OUR LEFT POLITICS!
    WE ARE STRONG, CATCH-UP, OR STAY STUCK IN THE PAST POWELL, OR THERE’S NO PLACE FOR YOU AND YOUR ILK IN A FUTURE LABOUR PARLIAMENT!

    Like

  6. Another ‘entitled’ so-called ‘Labour’ careerist.

    Just zip it, powell. Useless, destructive, hypocritical divvy.

    Like

  7. I have long regarded Lucy Powell as a total opportunist:

    This was her pledge on Trident when she was seeking to win the seat of Manchester Withington in 2010. She probably thought, correctly, that such a stance would help her chances in that constituency.

    Powell’s Trident pledge:

    Labour’s Lucy Powell said she would vote against party lines to scrap the Trident missile programme and added that she ‘would not be surprised’ if Labour scrapped the £97bn project following a spending review in the next parliament if they retained power.

    “I believe this is the wrong policy at the wrong time,” she said.
    “When the international community is moving towards disarmament Britain should be playing its part in leading that process.

    “If Labour is in power after this election a complete spending review will be held and I would not be surprised if there is a change of heart.”

    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/going-head-to-head-for-your-vote-1220673

    Once elected as an MP after the Manchester Central by election of 2012, she voted for Trident replacement in several votes. I wonder if she objected to Labour MPs coming to help her get elected on that occasion?

    “Over the weekend three shadow cabinet members – shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith, shadow education secretary Lucy Powell and shadow justice secretary Lord Falconer – all refused to rule out quitting if Labour drops its Trident backing.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/12092085/Three.. .

    She is enough give hypocrisy a bad name.

    Like

  8. Re Lucy Powell:
    This was her pledge on Trident when she was seeking to win the seat of Manchester Withington in 2010. She may thought, correctly, that such a stance would help her chances in that constituency.
    Powell’s Trident pledge:
    Labour’s Lucy Powell said she would vote against party lines to scrap the Trident missile programme and added that she ‘would not be surprised’ if Labour scrapped the £97bn project following a spending review in the next parliament if they retained power.
    “I believe this is the wrong policy at the wrong time,” she said.
    “When the international community is moving towards disarmament Britain should be playing its part in leading that process.
    “If Labour is in power after this election a complete spending review will be held and I would not be surprised if there is a change of heart.”

    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/going-head-to-head-for-your-vote-1220673

    However, once elected as an MP after the Manchester Central by election of 2012, she voted for Trident replacement in several votes.

    Over the weekend three shadow cabinet members – shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith, shadow education secretary Lucy Powell and shadow justice secretary Lord Falconer – all refused to rule out quitting if Labour drops its Trident backing.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/12092085/Three...

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Help, how do I ‘like’ comments, I need to register but that option just goes to WordPress create a site page.

    Like

    • I think you need to register some kind of account with WordPress – that’ll be why it’s taking you to a registration page. You shouldn’t need to set up a site, just a basic ‘gravatar’ account, so WordPress knows who’s ‘liking’.

      Like

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