Byrne endorsed for WM mayor by councillor who tried to join Tories

Progress founder’s leaflet includes Tom Watson’s ex-driver – who tried unsuccessfully to defect to Tories

A leaflet put out by Liam Byrne, co-founder of the right-wing pressure group Progress, to promote his bid to become Labour’s candidate for the position of West Midlands mayor includes an endorsement by a Sandwell councillor who has recently tried to join the Tory party.

Bill Gavan, who acted as Tom Watson’s driver, was reported to have quit the Labour whip last spring. He subsequently denied having quit in spite of several councillors insisting he had done so during a meeting of the council’s Labour group, but then this year applied to join the Conservatives. The Tories are reported to have declined his application.

However, a leaflet issued by Byrne still names Gavan as one of his endorsements:

A leaflet distributed in Warley constituency also includes – alongside such Labour right figures as Tom Watson and Labour First’s serial NEC candidate Gurinder Singh Josan, ‘Councillor’ Keith Davies:

However, Davies was one of a number of councillors deselected before last year’s local elections. The SKWAWKBOX also understands that he does not live in the Warley constituency.

Liam Byrne was contacted for comment about the leaflets, but had not responded by the time of publication.

Byrne was criticised yesterday for another leaflet, which a local MP complained was misleading about which candidate his local members had nominated. Byrne said he was ‘perplexed and mystified’ how the leaflet could be seen as misleading.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. “Byrne said he was ‘perplexed and mystified’ how the leaflet could be seen as misleading.”

    No doubt this intellectual giant was ‘perplexed and mystified” that his little joke came to be seen as a propaganda gift to the tories!


  2. 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!

  3. They have got a very good candidate in Salma Yaquoob,and shes left wing,and that’s the problem for a lot of tom watson and the right wing moderates.

  4. On the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz / Birkenau can I pass on one piece of advice to anyone who visits
    Dont take the official tour, experience it for yourself, you dont need to be told what to think,
    Until you comprehend the scale of the atrocity you cannot begin to understand how mankind can be so cruel,
    That was it for me, it could just as easily have happened in this country, there is evil in all of us, it only takes a populist to bring it out and any humanity we have leaves us, it’s always the other so they dont count,
    At 60 methinks we are one of the last generations who were taught never to forget, it wont last,
    Which is why I’m proud to be a member of our party
    Safest country in Europe for the Jewish community thanks to JC and the Labour party

  5. This is the reason John McDonnell lost my support, he also endorsed Right Winger Liam Byrne for mayor. McDonnell did more damage than anyone in the Labour Party by appeasing the LP RW & plotters. He waas also the chairman of the Labour Party GE campaign who sucked up to the PV & Remain backstabbers. McDonnell is no better than the rest of the phoney left

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: