Labour MPs using the right-wing press has been a contentious issue for Labour members for a number of years, especially since Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the party and hardline opponents such as the now-departed Michael Dugher used the Murdoch press or the Daily Mail to attack him.
The innate distaste of Labour members for such right-wing, corporate publications is most universal on Merseyside, where almost every resident despises the S*n for its smears against victims and survivors of the Hillsborough disaster. So it is perhaps surprising that a Merseyside Labour MP, Frank Field, writes for that very newspaper.
Not without consequence, however. Field’s Birkenhead CLP (constituency Labour party) held its monthly general meeting and voted on a strongly-worded motion of censure proposed by its Prenton branch:
Prenton Branch condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the decision of Frank Field to write for Murdoch’s S*n. This not only flies in the face of Birkenhead public opinion and a Wirral Labour Council boycott, it rides roughshod over the memory of those who died or survived the Hillsborough tragedy and were smeared by that rag. It also causes upset to friends and family of victims and survivors.
One Prenton member has cancelled his membership due to Frank’s involvement in the gutter press. The branch feels that this is a clear case of bringing our Party into disrepute.
We call on Frank, to give a clear, unambiguous, public apology, for the hurt caused and to provide an undertaking not to contribute in any way, in future.
Field looked less than thrilled through the proceedings:
The writing was almost literally on the wall beyond him.
If he looked unhappy during the discussion, he’s alleged to have been livid after the votes were counted. A member who was at the meeting told the SKWAWKBOX:
Frank said that he would not be muzzled. He refused to give the requested commitment not to repeat the offence caused and stated that if members didn’t like it, they could deselect him.
He flounced out of the meeting, claiming that he was continuing his surgery at nearby Birkenhead Town Hall. Nobody believed that, as it was nearly 8 pm and his surgery started at 5 pm!
His parting shot was some snide comment about Jeremy Corbyn, but members shouted back at him “thanks for nominating him”, as Field provided the deciding vote, which secured JC’s place on the original ballot!
We remind him of that frequently. If he thought he was being clever at the time, and JC had no chance of winning, look how that turned out.
Frank Field once infamously dismissed the importance of the views of his constituents, telling the BBC that he had no idea what they think and that he was not the kind of MP to allow his voters to ‘direct’ him:
But those who are Labour members made their views crystal clear last night on at least one topic – unanimously.
Mr Field was contacted for comment.
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