Excl: Byrne: “perplexed and mystified” how leaflet could be read as claiming endorsement by Hall Green CLP

Local MP complains about leaflet after Hall Green CLP supports Salma Yaqoob for West Mids mayor

The West Midlands Mayoral Labour candidate election has become mired in accusations, after a Labour CLP (constituency Labour party) felt it had to clarify its support for one candidate after another candidate published a leaflet they said implied support for him.

Liam Byrne distributed leaflets which members – and the local MP – complained made it appear that Hall Green CLP in Birmingham had backed his candidacy:

When several members contacted the branch after seeing Liam Byrne’s leaflets, Moseley and Kings Heath Labour Party took to Facebook to confirm that Hall Green CLP had endorsed Salma Yaqoob to be Labour’s candidate for the region’s ‘Metro Mayor’ role .

The branch posted:

Following a number of inquiries, we are aware that material about the West Midlands Metro Mayor selection has been sent to Labour members.

Moseley & Kings Heath branch would like to put on record that Hall Green CLP held a nomination meeting on 11 October where the majority endorsed our branch member Salma Yaqoob as Labour’s candidate.

We look forward to campaigning with whoever is successful, and for Simon Foster in the Police and Crime Commissioner election.

Hall Green is Yaqoob’s own CLP and she won the hustings by a wide margin.

Hall Green MP Tahir Ali said :

I am very disappointed Liam Byrne has muddied the waters in this West Midlands Mayoral election. Hall Green CLP took the time to hold a nomination meeting on October 11 and our members chose Salma Yaqoob as our preferred candidate.

Mr Byrne has been criticised for previous election materials, such as a 2015 leaflet calling for “stronger border controls, new exit checks to count people in and out of the country, ban visa overstayers and bring back fingerprint checks for illegal migrants in Calais”, which the Tories conned Labour’s then-leader of the council into condemning as ‘abhorrent’ by disguising it as a UKIP leaflet. Byrne said his document had been selectively quoted.

Liam Byrne told the SKWAWKBOX:

Frankly, I’m baffled by [the complaint]. We have already over 150 endorsers and supporters for our campaign including John McDonnell, and ten trade unions and affiliates along with what’s now literally thousands of members…

[O]ur literature is written as a friendly address either to each constituency (inside Birmingham or Coventry) or to each Borough (outside Birmingham or Coventry). Hence the name of the particular constituency or Borough – together with the names and pictures of the local constituency or Borough-specific supporters, below their shared message – which features above their photos – and which reads ‘we’re voting Liam’.

I’m genuinely perplexed and mystified to see how the leaflets could be read as anything else as an endorsement from the people whose pictures and quotes are featured so prominently below the banner.

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  1. Where to start with Liam Byrne? “Labour is on your side, the LibDems are on the side of failed asylum seekers,” (Election leaflet 2004). “Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam,” (note to his successor David Laws 2010) – possibly on a par with “we shall fight them on the beaches” and “a week is a long time in politics” as a political quote known to all and sundry thanks to its use by Cameron and Osborne to beat Labour about the head for nigh on 10 years. Member of Labour Friends of Israel, supporter of Owen Smith in the chicken coup. Need I go on? If this man had any shame he would have changed his name and had plastic surgery – and would not still be seeking to represent the Labour Party: clearly he hasn’t.

    1. To be fair, the ‘treasury’ quote was a private joke (albeit unfunny), with many precedents from both sides: it was a typical tory trick to make it public.

      Other than that, spot on. The man has no shame. Let’s hope the local voters see through his disingenuous tosh.

      1. heenan73 “22/01/2020 at 6:21 pm · · Reply →
        To be fair, the ‘treasury’ quote was a private joke (albeit unfunny), with many precedents from both sides: it was a typical tory trick to make it public.“

        Until every politician stops treating office as their in joke / playground as is too often the impression I get from Thornberry eg interview č Ferrari re Trident. Thornberry sounded as if Trident was some trivial matter. And, “a game”, according to Gardner on Question Time 2019)… Until “private jokes” about public concerns stops, we will continue to have out of touch politicians. The “private joke” is as crass as the teller. Further cosy “private jokes” like that suggest that the matters which concern the general public, are not high up or even midway in the minds of the politicians with “private jokes” like that.

      2. Unfortunately it reinforces the notion that it is primarily governments that print money when the overwhelming majority of it is by banks for houses which have already been built and so now serve to bloat houses prices rather than any productive activities. This remark well sum up well his own grasp of political economy.

  2. Interestingly the Byrne Leaflet for Sandwell includes a Councillor (Bill Gavin) who has defected to the Tories.
    As he says
    “I’m genuinely perplexed and mystified to see how the leaflets could be read as anything else as an endorsement from the people whose pictures and quotes are featured…”

    Endorsed by a Tory says it all.

  3. Is this the same Liam Byrne that left the “no money left” note that became a propaganda gift for the tories? That we are still hearing now, ten years later?


  4. If I’d written the “no money left” suicide note I’d still be self-flagellating in a cave, not running after some pointless fucking sinecure like mayor of the west midlands.
    AS fucking IF one person could effectively represent an area covering 28 parliamentary constituencies.

  5. One Walsall comrade has also made known on Facebook her displeasure at appearing in the Walsall version of the leaflet. She supports Pete Lowe as candidate.

  6. The leaflet makes no suggestion that Hall Green CLP has formally backed Liam Byrne. It’s simply individual members supporting him. M&KH branch is, of course, run by Salma Yaqoob supporters.

    This is more dirty tricks from the Yaqoob campaign. Following the claim that Dudley North CLP is backing her. The way she has been imposed on the shortlist by Londoners having had hardly any time as a member of the party. The allegations made by Naz Shah about her behaviour in 2017 (just because Shah is on the right it doesn’t make them untrue). And the unpleasant packed meeting of Momentum Birmingham which supported her: twenty-odd Muslim members never seen before, all of them men, except for one woman dressed in jilbab or similar. This was a very conservative Muslim group. As a gay man I felt distinctly threatened, something I never expected in three years of Momentum membership.

    I’ve voted for Pete Lowe 1 and Liam Byrne 2. Byrne has made unexpectedly good commitments on transport, including re-regulating buses, and at least I can trust him.

  7. Andy foster….Why do you feel so threatened by Moslem men and a woman in traditional hijab,.Get over yourself and get out a bit more,you’re begining to sound more like a islamaphobe

    1. Presumably he may feel threatened because conservative islam, along with conservative christians, may not have a particularly good record vis-a-vis gay rights.. Same groups don’t necessarily like socialists either – remember who were amongst the first on lamposts when the Iranian revolution went sour! Not all of us have forgotten…

      1. Marty….he feels threatend by the attendance of Labour party members who happen to be moslem and one in traditional dress.Now you are incuding christians and those of any faith I presume?Same message to you as your friend “get over yourself and get out more” .If you do you will find many decent human beings amongst all faiths and none ,and that includes the Jewish faith as well..Bigotry is a two way street and all of us should be afforded equal rights.

  8. I’ve had a similar leaflet through my letterbox regarding Edgbaston. As far as I am aware we as a CLP have not endorsed anyone yet. We have our all members meeting next Saturday. If they just said we’re supporting Liam I would not have a problem but saying Edgbaston is supporting Liam is a bit naughty!

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