Field – CAMERON’s former workfare ‘czar’ – resigns Labour whip

field cropped

Veteran Birkenhead MP Frank Field has resigned the Labour whip. No indication has been given that he intends to step down as an MP and trigger a by-election.

Field has long been controversial and considered on the hard right of the party, causing outrage by agreeing to sit as Tory PM David Cameron’s ‘poverty czar’, a position from which he supported the idea of compulsory ‘workfare’ for the unemployed rather than benefits:

field workfare.jpeg

More recently, he outraged many Labour members as one of four MPs who squandered a chance to bring down Theresa May and her government in a vital EU vote.

Field has suffered a number of reverses in his local party recently, including a vote of no confidence going against him. His resignation letter bleated about a ‘culture of intolerance and intimidation‘ and – you’ve guessed it – dragging out the antisemitism smear.

It’s unlikely that his local members will much miss him, even without the smears, since he has been boycotting constituency meetings since taking offence at the taking of the above photograph of him during one.

Field has not resigned from the party – but if he does not, he may well be the subject of a torrent of complaints for bringing Labour into disrepute.

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35 responses to “Field – CAMERON’s former workfare ‘czar’ – resigns Labour whip

    • Yes and poor Frank and his moral panic as he attacks the working class welfare state on behalf of the Neo-Liberal capitalist system which is fundamentally about cheap labour as the few legally nick the surplus labour of working people.
      Twit Fields demonstrates his blindness and complete ignorance about of the Upper Class Welfare state – 2,000 plus tax reliefs and subsidies for the the rich and better off (Chakrabatty, 2018) massive state intervention to give tax cuts to: millionaires, big business corporations, private landlords with multiple properties, hedge funds, grouse moor owners etc, tax avoidance, illicit offshore banking by the rich to avoid giving to societies; for Fields is it “working class welfare bad, upper class welfare good?” Good riddance to…..

      • And perhaps the young man who couldn’t read or write showed greater thinking than FF will ever do in his life – questioning why as a free thinking, free working class human being he should be exploited!
        But Simple Frank recoils in horror as perhaps he sees this as a threat to his system?
        He’s alright Jack stuffing his mouth with with gold with his generous MPs salary and his working on the side for the vile Sun whilst he advocates ultra exploitation for young people.
        Oh and tax credits are just a subsidy for poverty pay, paid by you and me, so companies can reward shareholders and for example the large supermarkets get billions in subsidy each year this way.
        Poor FF perhaps not the sharpest tool in the Neo-Liberal Capitalist toolbox.
        Birkenhead needs a socialist Labour MP to fight for working people!

  1. Is resigning the whip not a reason for suspension from the party, or perhaps expulsion?

  2. This could be the first step towards an attempt to form a new party-perhaps the Moderate, Democratic, Social, Non tory, Conservative Party, the party with something for everyone.

  3. While I deplore the actions of the four Labour MPs who voted with the Conservatives on a Brexit amendment, consideration must be given to spare Frank Field from deselection. His performance as Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee has been exemplary. He has done a yeoman’s job exposing the flaws and human costs of the draconian welfare reforms.

    • Having just heard Frank Field’s betrayal of the Labour Party on R4’s PM I vehemently disagree with you.

    • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ,, draws breath ,,,m ha ha ha ha haha ha ad nauseam .
      Best joke ALL DAY !!

    • How many times does it have to be said Frank Field was a member of Ian Duncan Smith’s right wing think tank the Centre for Social Justice that devised the present welfare reform in the early 2000’s . He supports the principals behind Universal Credit and the rest of it but he has been highly critical of all the cock ups that were made by the Government in their implementation of it.
      It was always the case that the new welfare benefit system would be extremely punitive as it was fully intended to be and that claimants would have to wait for a month before they received benefit and that sanctions would be rigourously imposed for the slightest failure by the claimant to comply with any of the draconian regulations.
      Further anyone with even a basic understanding of how the benefits system works could have easily predicted the chaos that would ensue on the implamentation of such a radically different system and indeed many did and warned of it. The computerisation of benefit claims and their calculation was just one prime candidate for disaster and so it has proved to be.
      In my view Field’s work on the Works and Pension Committee was one of the most cynical and hypocritical performances I have ever witnessed by a politician.He kidded a lot of people that he opposed Welfare Reform when he was actually one of its authors.
      Check out the Council for Social Justic’s own website his connection with the organisation is there for everyone to see.
      Field is 76 years old he will be 80 at the time of the next election there is no way he will be reselected at that age and he knows it.

    • You start tomorrow – stacking shelves at Poundland.

      If you disagree you’ll be served eviction notices for non payment (of whatever) and you’ll need to beg at a food bank because you’ll have no money to buy food.

      That’s not ‘draconian’. It’s something you endorse

  4. He’s been semi-Tory for years. Birkenhead deserves a better MP than Field, whose resigning with yet more smears should give the CLP even more reason to look to get a better parliamentary candidate.

  5. What this conduct by the dishonourable Mr Field indicates among other things is the necessity for a rule that if you cease to be an MP for the party for whom you were elected voluntarily or otherwise you should be obliged to trigger a by-election (in the case of those who are shown the door by their party I would say that they should be debarred from standing in said by-election, while if they have left voluntarily they are welcome to stand if they fancy faring about as well as “Standing at the back dressed stupidly and looking stupid”). This is a decision he would never have made voluntarily if he would have had to stand in a by-election either as an independent or for some other party.

    • I’m sure I signed a petition about this very issue a few weeks back.

    • Zac Goldsmith submitted a cross party bill over this. Which was sadly rejected.

      Notable supporters from Labour included: Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and John McDonnell.

      In the interest of balance, some of the “Blairite” MPs also signed as well including John Mann, Margaret Hodge and Ben Bradshaw.

  6. Field is a wily old fox who has been a Labour MP in all but name for quite some time. Resigning the whip means little at the moment and he will wait his time for a big splash in his best friend’s newspapers! Good riddance I say. His better off voting with his mates on the other side of the floor than playing fast and loose with his voters wishes!

  7. I have always perceived Field as being extremely right wing and possibly mentally unstable. But hitherto I have believed him honest. His Parthian accusation of antisemitism against Jeremy Corbyn removes even that fig leaf.

  8. Frank Field would have people believe that the Labour Party is a “Force for antisemitism”, when in actual fact it is HE and his buddies who are a force for bogus and phony and false claims of antisemitism. And ditto for bullying. He is yet another traitor, not only to the LP and the many, but to democracy itself, and I can only hope that hundreds of REAL Labour Party members will be doing all they can to enlighten everyone in Field’s constituency and beyond to the bogus and phony allegations of A/S AND expose him for the charlatan and the fraudster he is.

  9. I’ve always had time for Frank, despite the fact he is quite unpopular amongst many of the left (his reasons for Brexit were solidly left wing and his takedown of Philip Green appreciated). I suppose I do like politicians who at least stand for something other than corporate interests, even if I disagree with their approach. I certainly have a lot more time for Field, Hoey and friends, than I do the Chukanauts.

    That said he’s on more than one occasion veered into a One Nation Tory path. I don’t think any “centrist” party would go near him however, if anything the polar opposite – a Blue Labour / Red UKIP style party would be closer to his beliefs, the “centrists” would balk at his support for rail renationalisation, opposition to TTIP, support for Brexit and toughness on immigration.

    Still with writing pieces in the sun (I’m not capitalising that rag), he’s blotted his copybook once too many times for Merseyside and his constituency and CLP members. The no confidence motion has been on the cards for a while now, so this was probably inevitable sooner or later. A culture of intolerance towards the sun is no bad thing. Perhaps now the constituency can get someone who is more traditionally Labour instead.

    • And you STILL have time for him, despite the fact that he’s resigned the Labour whip on the false and contrived grounds that JC and HIS Labour Party are a “force for antisemitism”, which as we all know HE – Frank Field – has done to further undermine and sabotage JC’s leadership and further tar the left of the party AND thrown in “bullying” for good measure. The man is beneath contempt, and he and the other Blairites couldn’t give a damn about the many or undoing the damage done by the Tories.

      • I have no time for him since this announcement.

        I did in the past, though my respect for him has got less and less.

        I just see it as a real shame a man of his standing has turned into this pathetic sideshow.

  10. As the King of Workfare leaves the Labour stage.
    And Oblivion is a just sentence.
    But the poor do not shed a single tear.
    As the Barbarians come to thine defence.
    Thy practitioners of the Darkest Arts.
    Think you’re so clever and oh so tough.
    But deep down inside in your souls you really know.
    As human beings you are simply not good enough.
    For the battle that is yet to come, and will be won!
    “And only the stars will ride the storm!”
    But real socialists do not rage.
    Use music, harness laughter, adopt poetry, practice art.
    Barbarians struggle in these fields.
    And beware of the question they may one day try to ask YOU:
    “Are you or have you ever been a supporter of Freedom for Palestinians?”
    And we boldly reply: “Yes and this will also mean real freedom for diverse Jewish citizens too!”
    Yours in peace!

  11. Given that we all saw this coming it would be good to announce his replacement VERY soon.
    Otherwise immediately launch with fanfare the process to choose and promote his replacement.
    Repeat as often and as widely as possible that having resigned the whip he no longer has a mandate to serve his constituency, the right to any Labour Party facilities or to assistance from any Labour personnel or member.

  12. Given that we all saw this coming it would be good to announce his replacement VERY soon.

    Last I heard, Lol Duffy was Southport LP vice-chairman…

  13. After Lol Duffy was removed as a candidate for Wallasey, he decided to back, as I understand it, Angela Eagle.

    Now that is very commendable in a way. The problem is that it is taken as a sign of weakness and leads to further candidates being removed. Liz Davies was later removed. Trying to be reasonable with people who are out to get you does not work.

    • That’s right, Tony – Duffy did indeed back eagle. Bernie sanders backed hillary the cheat.

      And we’ve already seen Corbyn’s weaknesses, but do you want anyone else in his place?

  14. And it’d make for sublime karma – as well as good headlines – if Duffy WAS made the candidate…Imagine the fume from the gobshites when Duffy trounced him?

    And I’d dare (ill)eagle to ‘repay the field favour’ by calling for Birkenheaders to vote for frankenfield instead of the official labour candidate.

  15. A poster on Left Futures (before this site was culled by Lansman) once claimed that when Eagle was ‘picked’ a Labour official failed to record that a majority said no which would have meant she was not officially chosen?
    I have no idea if this is true and will bow to local knowledge.

  16. I lost respect for every existing form of government in about 1963 so I’ve taken no part since then in what I still see as a corrupt system – except for a little jeering from the sidelines.
    Had to Google Lol Duffy therefore, despite living in the NW – so this is two years old but still news to me:

    https://medium.com/@pitt_bob/how-angela-eagle-got-to-be-mp-for-wallasey-e30d4ad9483

    Seems to support your impression of what happened, Bazza.

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