Woodcock’s local paper sending him a message?

Ex-Labour MP John Woodcock started the recent trend, if two is a trend, of Labour MPs resigning from the party without trusting their mandate – or respecting their constituents – enough to offer them a chance to choose in a by-election whether they want to continue to be represented by an ‘independent’ MP.

Woodcock resigned, he said, because he didn’t trust Labour to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against him. And of course, because he believes Labour suddenly became antisemitic when Jeremy Corbyn became leader.

As only around 6% of voters cast their ballot for an individual MP rather than for the party they represent, an MP making a unilateral decision for thousands of people is bold, to say the least. Birkenhead MP Frank Field has followed Woodcock’s example, at least for the moment, although he is reportedly considering resigning his seat to trigger a by-election.

Whether accidentally or by design, it seems someone at John Woodcock’s local paper, the North-West Evening Mail may have sent him a message from his Cumbrian constituents when composing an email to its ‘morning news briefing’ subscribers recently:

woodcock job.png

Of course, “Occam’s razor” would suggest that it’s pure coincidence. However, the same publication did recently run a poll that suggested two-thirds of voters in the constituency would vote for a Labour candidate, with fewer than one in five saying they would support Mr Woodcock – while Labour’s north-west regional board unanimously voted to demand that Woodcock stand down to trigger a by-election.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Unsurprisingly, Woodcock shows no signs of wishing to ‘test his mandate’. Will Frank Field show more spine and principle in Birkenhead?

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  1. I would imagine Woodcock has had many sleepless nights considering his next move. My big mouth vs £77k and perks! Yeah, let’s see what Field and Hoey are made of also.

  2. Know what?

    I reckon a few of them ARE considering ‘sacrificing’ themselves in the folorn hope of preventing the impending apocalypse of the right that will be mandatory reselection.

    Let’s face it, just about EVERYONE knew woodcock was getting punted anyway and chose to ‘resign’ – because he’s *ahem* ‘very brave.’

    field – Ditto – but ‘resigned’ because he’s ‘very principled’

    gapes is some rotund perma-backbench nobody who’s getting on a bit. Dunno what the eulogy would be for him…if any?

    …But that said, mann has said he’s: ‘going nowhere’. (Quelle surprise)

    ‘Going nowhere’… Fairly ambiguous statement, I s’pose.

    1. Prophetic, even (going nowhere)? I do hope that nowhere is somewhere close to oblivion.

  3. Anyways, the OP topic’s definitely one for the ‘Malgorithms’ section on Private Eye.

  4. When Simon of Danczuk fame stood as an Independent he got 884 votes, compared to the new Labour MP who secured 29,000 votes!

  5. One of Frank Field’s recent Wirral Globe articles (you can pick from hundreds) suggested that degree-qualified postgrad students could pick up work on construction sites rather than sign on the dole.

    Perhaps Frank could set an example here? Birkenhead’s a jobseeking write off thanks to Frank’s long term influence on inward investment and Wirral Council’s lack of a local plan, but there’s plenty of useful labouring and hod-carrying work over in Liverpool if you’re prepared to get the first ferry over and put a bit of graft in mate.

    1. One of Frank Field’s recent Wirral Globe articles (you can pick from hundreds) suggested that degree-qualified postgrad students could pick up work on construction sites rather than sign on the dole.

      Hmmm….Perhaps not at ‘Wirral Waters’ , then?

      I also see that field’s chief lickspittle (So dire he couldn’t even win an election against fester mcvile) , and ‘Glorious Leader’ of WBC phil davies has ‘demanded’ the party investigate claims of ‘bullying’…

      I suppose you’ve gotta have your finger on the pulse representing one of the poorest wards in the borough when you live in one of the richest…Still ,it’s not Westminster, but I suppose it’s a decent enough number innit, phil?


  6. Frank says that he is going around his consituancy this weekend to ask people if he should resign his seat so a by-election can be held. What he means is he wants to do a quick ring round of those Labour Party members who he thinks are loyal to him to ask them if they would mind being permanently expelled from the Party in order to campaign for him as an independent candidate against Labour. (You can imagine the rush to sign up for that).
    Of course even in the unlikely event that he won the seat he might only hold it for a few months or weeks before the Tories had to call another snap election. So there is no guarantee that he would sit until 2022 without having another big challange from Labour on his hands.
    The reality is however that even if he managed to split the Labour vote significantly say taking a third of it Labour would still have a more than comfortable win both over him and the Tories.
    I remember Ernie Milne a recently deselected Labour MP for Blyth standing against Labour in that seat as an Independent during the February 1974 General Election . He won it with a small majority in February but oh dear when a second General election was called in October of the same year he was toast.
    There is therefore no doubt in my mind that Frank will chicken out and stay where he is.

    1. Hi Albert – Just a quick correction his name was Eddie Milne. He was a strong fighter against corruption which was absolutely rife at the time in the Labour Party in the north east. He stood against the party after being deselected due to campaigning against corruption both within the Labour Party and Northumbria Police. He lost the second election by a handful of votes . He also took a large number of councillors with him who stood against the Labour wining seats on blyth valley council. He lost the second election by 78 votes to a frankly bizarre labour candidate John Ryman (a right winger who was also a member of a hunt and believed strongly in Fox hunting). Eddie Milne was portrayed in the programme Our Friends in The North – the character was Eddie Mills. He was totally unlike Frank Field – he was a man of principle who believed corruption should be fought. The labour party at The time were embarrassed Andy Cunningham (Jack Cunningham’s fater) went to prison, John Poulson & T Dan Smith went to prison and as a result moved against him.

  7. I remember Eddie – not “Ernie” Milne too. He got undermined by the Andy Cunningham / Dan Smith / John Poulson machine over his publicly aired fears over corruption in the regions local authorities and got the heave from his Blyth CLP which had been packed with paid placemen of that machine. He was of the left, not the right like Field, ad was replaced as a MP by a strange man called John Ryman who proved to be no mean slouch in corruption himself – only in his case it was defrauding ladies of a “certain age” of their savings for which he served time. He too, resigned the party whip and finished his disgraced days as an “independent”. Blyth then got normalicy and Ronnie Campbell as a MP, and I know still serving Ronnie has stories of his successors.

    1. Yes of course it was Eddie Milne – Ernie Milne was a kid that I at was at school with in the North East while the whole Poulson affair was going on. LOL .
      I believe that Eddie published a book about his experiences that named names but was obliged to withdraw it shortly after publication for “legal reasons”. The name of the late Ted Short comes to mind and who could forget “Mr Newcastle” himself T Dan Smith?
      The “casual authoritarianism” of the Labour Party in the North East was apparent for all to see during late 1960’s and early 70’s which deterred me from becoming a member for some k20 years.

  8. Would people please stop telling FF he’s got no chance in an election. We need to give him all the encouragement we can to elect himself into oblivion.

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