Excl video: Watson ally on Sandwell council helping Labour’s OPPONENT campaign for re-election

Cllr Caroline White admits being councillor in video
Cllr Caroline White (image: Sandwell Council)

Some weeks ago, Sandwell councillors David and Shirley Hosell were among a number of councillors deselected as candidates by the Labour Party for their wards in the borough. Local MP and Labour deputy leader Tom Watson defended the deselected councillors, describing their deselection as ‘brutal factional politics’ and ‘outrageous’, in an interview with a local paper – and went further, claiming that the deselections had happened ‘for no reason whatsoever’.

Mr Hosell – said to be closely aligned with Watson – quickly challenged Watson’s claim that there was no reason for the move by attacking a bullied female Labour councillor on social media as a ‘gutter wench’. The Hosells also immediately resigned from Labour Party in order to contest their seats as independents.

Cllr Shirley Hosell with one her red independent campaign boards (image: Twitter)

In the latest developments Labour councillor Caroline White, said locally to be close to David Hosell, has been seen – and filmed – carrying election boards for Shirley Hosell’s campaign along Redwood Road in her ward as David put them up around the ward to promote her campaign as an independent – using a red livery almost identical to Labour’s:

When confronted by the SKWAWKBOX, Cllr White admitted that she was the woman in the video, but claimed that she was helping Cllr Hosell out of a concern for health and safety:

I happened to be visiting a friend – I passed him, I saw him wobble on the ladder, I thought it was highly health and safety conscious to actually help him so he didn’t fall off the ladder.

She declined to answer further questions, saying she had to pick up her car from its MOT.

However, rather than a one-off courtesy assist with a wobbly ladder the video footage appears to show Cllr White carrying Cllr Hosell’s election materials as they converse while he walks along, before the pair prepare to erect another board:

The Labour Party’s rules state that support for a candidate competing against Labour candidates is an ‘auto-exclusion’ matter:

Sandwell’s Labour Chief Whip John Edwards said that such an issue would normally require the whips’ intervention if it was reported to them, but [with the special measures imposed by the NEC] the matter would need to be handled by the national party and the whips would merely pass the matter to Labour’s regional director. The Labour Party has been contacted for comment.

Tom Watson’s office did not respond to a question about the appropriateness of his comments about the deselections in view of subsequent events.

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  1. Off-topic

    Hey, my email alerts have resumed, as mysteriously as they stopped a few weeks ago.

    Thanks Swawky!

    1. As a hardline remainer you are the best campaigning tool Farage has got. Tool being the operative word.

      Every time your open your mouth about a second referendum you push concerned leave voters towards the Brexit party, so you are effectively campaigning for Farage.

  2. Watson’s clique will have had the local party in their pockets for so long they think rules are for other people.
    A shake-up will hopefully give new heart to the left – they must have felt powerless and abandoned for years.
    I hope we’ve got some good people who can help get them back on track, refreshed and re-energised.

  3. I wonder if there is a Branding infringement here with those signs looking identical to Labour Branding , I note there ( deliberately no doubt ) is no logo to clarify this is an Independent candidate which would normally be the case .
    Best solution is perhaps for the NEC legal eagles to have a word ? But I won’t hold my breath .

    1. Good point Rob. This certainly appears to be prima facie case of passing off, which is illegal in the UK.

  4. I did wonder whether they might have been old Labour campaign posters from previous elections with “Labour” trimmed off but I can’t find anything close enough. That would have been theft.
    The “passing off” claim would probably be a waste of lawyers’ fees – there’s only the colour to argue on as far as I can see and I doubt the colour is protected.
    A judge might find for one side or the other only for it to be reversed on appeal.
    The cost of defending themselves might bankrupt them but that’s beneath us, isn’t it?

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