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Labour loses control of Durham council for first time in over 100 years

How far a once-great party has fallen in just a year of Starmer

Durham Cathedal and Riverside (image credit Dave Ireland via Flickr)

Labour has lost overall control of Durham County Council after losing 21 seats in last week’s local elections, leaving it 11 short of a majority,as Skwawkbox predicted on Thursday.

It is the first time in more than 100 years that the party has not controlled the area, which is home to the UK’s biggest Labour movement event, the Durham Miners’ Gala.

How far a once great and vital party has fallen in just a year of what passes for leadership under the disastrous Keir Starmer, who reacted by flailing at front bench women for someone to blame.

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  1. Labour has lost control of itself and come Monday morning need to have a good hard look at why over a hundred thousand many activists and leaders in there own community and ask just how has it come to this?.I don’t think you need to be a Einstein to lay the blame at the door of a fanatic called sir keir Rodney Starmer.The party are bankrupt in money and assets including the motley fool’s loosers hes sorounded himself with.I can understand those that have left feeling betrayed..but the day of reckoning is upon us with the knives out for starmer right and left of the failed Labour party.RIP

    1. These losses are the result of decline since 1997. The “TRUE Left”, for clarity NOT Mandelson, Straw, Bliar, Cooper Balls, Hodge et al, … the TRUE Labour throughout have failed to repeat these truths regularly, frequently and assertively to debunk the many key myths. Eg Mandelson / Bliar are winning strategist. They are not. After John Smith anyone or thing … even Doug’s dog would have defeated the Blue Tories mired in sleaze. They and their gang of parasites are the architects of the decline. The reversal of that decline started from Jeremy’s selection by the many. GE2017 was the peak of that reversal. The largest Labour vote share since at least 1945 DESPITE open sabotage from within and outside the party.

      In trying to appease those who have made it plain over 50 years that they DESPISE our views and aims and us, their BREXIT REVERSAL turbo charged grenade was embraced by the “TRUE Left”. FACT. Look at the map.

      What we see now was predictable and predicted right here on

      The Labour losses are the rotten results of SIR Starmer and his band of saboteurs. They were ALLOWED to inflict these losses by those who value talking about virtue more than bringing it about. They worship the myth that we need the Tory parasites to govern. They lack the conviction of belief that we are not victims at the mercy of this that and the other. Until that changes, we are well and truly doomed to the pernicious status quo that only serves the one percent besuited bandits.

    2. The loss of Red Wall seats in the 19GE has unfortunately acted as a tipping point. I think that voters in the North and Midlands having looked around them and seen that the Tories are investing in areas that vote Tory, that they have a Tory Mayor, are now surrounded by Tory constituencies and Boris is promising the investment and jobs they so desperately need. They took a pragmatic view and weighed up the potential of Tory investment against what they thought Labour could actually do for them in mid term when the Tories have an 80 seat majority.
      Why would they put that promised investment at risk by biting the hand that might save them from destitution.

      1. What if Johnson calls a GE and increases that majority, for another five years?

        What is different about English/Scottish Labour and Welsh Labour?

        Why did Welsh Labour get a working majority, as opposed to England – in particular – having disastrous polling, last week?

      2. George – I would have thought that was blindingly obvious, THEY ARE IN POWER.

      3. No it’s much worse than that. So much of traditional Labour voting areas have been taken for granted by corrupt, self serving local party officials and affiliated unions, co-ops which started under Thatcher and continued ever since. Officials treat the local party like a private club and pass on positions to family members and cronies. A perfect example is the West Midlands stronghold of right wingers under Tom Watson. The pretend left are no better, some constituencies in London are badly served. The whole system is badly in need of reform, regulation and banning lobbyists and putting barriers up to prevent careerist entryists.
        It has nothing to do with 2019.

      4. SteveH, I’m surprised you have reached that conclusion. A large proportion of voters are not as perceptive as you think they are. We are now in the advertising and fake news era where many people take their lead from the MSM including Sky and BBC news channels, who constantly and often subliminally push their view down the necks of the unwitting.

        Anyone who threatens the establishment by being perceived to be on the left is either briefed against or as in the case of Starmer, completely ignored. Starmer knows this, therefore he has tried to use a different way in to impress the establishment by appealing to the Israel Lobby whom he knows is supported by the Right.

        The electorate via ‘journalists’ such as Laura Kuenssberg are told that Bozo has done this or that and lied about it but it was all in good fun and you the public shouldn’t really hold it against him because that’s what jokers do. This view is then backed up, amplified and reinforced by the right in politics and the media, to the extent that Bozo, Blair and Trump can get away with contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands without there being any come-back.

      5. Why would anyone vote for Red Tories
        Methinks you mean
        War mongrel lost 5 million votes against weakest Tory party in modern history
        There is room for a Socialist Labour party, no room for for a fucking Tory tribute act

      6. In any case, SteveH, even you would have to admit the time for blaming and demonising Corbyn has come to an end, and the strategy of driving the left away-there’s no such thing as a person who personally identifies as “left-wing” who actually WANTED Starmer to do what he’s done to the party since taking over as leader-and the time for reaching out to all the people Starmer has driven away needs to begin. What happened Thursday proves there were never any votes Labour could gain by moving to the right on policy OR presentation.

      7. SteveH, we lost the Red Wall and the possibility of forming government due to Starmer support for a People’s Vote. He and his band of friends cynically sabotaged the success of the 2019 GE.
        Starmer and friends realised that a lot of young members that joined on the Corbyn wave, having been born with the UK as member of the EU wanted to remain in the EU.
        Instead of explaining why we needed to respect the result of the Referendum and enact Brexit as promised on our 2017 manifesto, they inflamed them with promises of a People’s Vote, that they were politically experienced enough to know that it wasn’t going to happen. It is clear in my mind that the whole Peoples’ Vote was destine to stop Corbyn from forming government.
        As a result the Tories won the 2019 GE with a huge majority, they have negotiated a disastrous Brexit and what is worse on the back of Brexit, they are passing policies destine to stifle the voices of the Trade Unions and political dissenters.
        Of course these “wonderful” pieces of legislation wouldn’t have been able to be enacted would have we stayed in the EU. However, they wouldn’t have passed either if instead of pushing for the mirage of a “Peoples’ Vote” Labour have stay true to its commitment of the 2017 Manifesto to implement Brexit. and form government after winning the 2019 GE.
        On Wales when Labour has implemented some of Corbyn’s sponsored policies despite Labour been in government for over 20 years, it has the best result last Thursday. The same in Preston, Manchester and other places with socialist Cllrs as opposed to Progress types.
        I agree with you that voters in the former Red Wall are voting pragmatically. I for once cannot blaming for not voting Red Tories. If you are going to have a Tory either way, better to have the proper one, the one that is going to invest in your area and make a positive difference to your daily life.
        Thus, to me it is clear what we need to do, sack Starmer and his band of friends and elect a proper socialist leader and the Labour Party will stand a chance at winning elections.

      1. George – Because people voted for them and within the limits imposed by Westminster they’ve done a reasonable job.

      2. Steve H @ 1727 – They’ve, just, achieved a working majority. Something that wasn’t supposed to happen. Mark Drakeford added 10,000 to his own majority.

        ‘…they’ve done a reasonable job.’ That’s a bit of an understatement. If only all politicians could add 10,000 to their majorities on such understatement.

        Perhaps, part of the reason was the freedom they had to implement Jeremy Corbyn’s GE17 and GE19 Manifestos, without interference from South Side, 2016 to the present time.

        It would be chauvinistic of me, if I didn’t pay credit to the sterling work of Mark Drakeford, during his stewardship of the Welsh COVID-19 Pandemic. That, undoubtedly, was a factor in his huge majority increase, but, also, there is no doubt those Manifestos played a large part, as well.

      3. Can’t admit it could possibly be that the voters of Wales AGREE with what Labour stands for their, can you Steve? Can’t admit that it could possibly be that the Welsh Labour success story proves that Labour doesn’t have to abandon socialism to win, and can prosper by governing on and defending actual socialist values- unlike Keir, who has your unquestioning support in making Labour a party that stands for nothing at all.

      4. kenburch – I would have thought that was implicit in the fact that they had voted for Labour.
        The problem with the 2019 manifesto was that the presentation of it was really, really poor and the electorate just didn’t believe that Labour could implement it.

      5. Steve H @ 2046 – The Welsh Electorate don’t seem to have had a problem, understanding the GE19 Manifesto. Why do you think that should be the case?

        Surely, you’re not suggesting, English Labour voters are ‘thick’, are you?

        Perhaps, it’s more to do with the crap they were being fed by some English Labour MP’s. The Welsh didn’t have to cope with that duplicitous sh*t.

        To the best of my knowledge, the Welsh have never been fed any of that nonsense, by any of their AM’s.

        Whereas, in England, it was a constant drip-drip from people who should never have been anywhere near the Labour Party, in the first place. That includes Keir Starmer.

    3. John McDonnell is all over the news taking swipes at Starmer. I have to tell McDonnell it’s too late for him to try and claw his way back. He was one of those who put the knife into Corbyn by saying the ‘Labour Party’s wasn’t doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism.

      1. Clearly, McDonnell believed Starmer when he promised his leadership would be the Corbyn policies with a more-effective leaders- as opposed to no policies with a tyrannical incompetent.

        McDonnell and Rayner were both played, and neither of them knows what to do now.

        And nobody has any possible case for arguing that Starmer still has anything to offer as a leader.

        If the only thing the SteveH types have to say is that they don’t think there’s anybody better in the PLP- and really, why would those types still insist that ONLY someone with no connection to Corbyn or Corbyn’s supporters could possibly be acceptable as leader?- then why don’t they support changing the leadership election rules so that

        1) The leader doesn’t HAVE to get MP nominations to make the leadership ballot- the 2010, 2015 and Thursday results prove that the current PLP have no greater capacity for leadership, presentation, or strategy than anybody else in the party and prove that they have no better idea of what makes an effective leader than anybody else;

        2) The leader doesn’t HAVE to be a sitting MP- Starmer or somebody else-maybe this could be a rotating position- could be assigned to deal with PMQ’s-a role that seems to be the only thing Starmer has ever been even mildly good at- while the actual leader goes out and engages in actual voters in actual communities full time and offers policies based on what they actually want- in the former heartlands, such a leader would offer what Corbyn promised but didn’t get enough publicity about, funding to provide actual economic regeneration to the towns time, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May and Boris forgot- and could encourage the actual revival of local party organisations in the former heartlands, which will mean retiring most of the Blairite timeservers who haven’t made any serious effort to elect Labour candidates in years now;

        Also, the entire party needs to commit to PR, since Labour can never win another majority under FPTP, no matter how far to the right it goes. PR, by contrast, at least presents the possibility of a progressive coalition and a Labour-Green-SNP-Plaid Cymru coalition(the LibDems are now permanently a party of the right) would be a massive improvement over the endless series of false majority Tory governments the UK has been subjected to.

      1. ps word is Keith may promote the despicable thug who boasted that she “WOULD STAB JEREMY in the FRONT” Jessica Phillips.
        Other deplorable Tories expected to be enabled are Streeting. Nandy & Rayner to be moved sideways.
        ps ps NO GOOD will come of any of it that benefits TRUE LABOUR and THE MANY who need the status quo quashed. Until we accept that we should not settle for crumbs, the system will remain as is.

      2. True Jenw2049, but if a person feels disgusted enough to leave the party, it’s reasonably certain they would not then (at the first election since leaving) vote for it or encourage others so to do.

      3. How many times have you repeated THAT in the past year or so signpost – ie about the crumbs? A hundred times? Two hundred times? THREE hundred times? So why don’t you get off your fat arse and DO something about it instead of forever moaning and whinging about it? THAT is ALL you EVER do!

        Does your inaction spring from jellied weakness perhaps?! Yeah, it’s so much easier to just sit around all day long every single day complaining about everything innit, eh!!

  2. Ps I still believe though that no one with any sense of morality can vote for the Conservative party and destroy the lives of millions of people.

    1. Joseph, they can abstain or vote Green as many have done. What is the difference from voting Red Tory to Blue Tory anyway? If anything if you vote Blue Tory you give a chance to yourself and your community. Vote Red Tory and you get nothing but disappointment.

  3. Labour does not exist anymore for the working class it started to destroy itself from the time blair went in to illegal wars followed up by brown milliband false antisemitism and no vision it’s a party for the few not the many what a disgrace

  4. Don’t worry, the big beasts are coming to save the party. Hilary Ben and Yvette Cooper are being unleashed, what could possibly go wrong?

  5. Against trend. Labour has gained 5 seats on Worthing totalling 15 Councillors
    5 years ago Labour had no Councillors since the 1960,s. Also Worthing now has 5 County Councillors…previously NONE!

    1. Bill Geddes are the Labour Cllrs in Worthing Socialist or NewLabour types? My educated guess is that most likely they are Socialist.
      It is what we are witnessing Welsh Labour doing very well with socialist policies. Preston Council, Manchester are Labour wins but the Labour candidates are socialist rather than Progress types.

  6. If Hilary who used to post here but fell ill is still following Skwawkbox, even though Starmer’s pathetic leadership must be annoying you to say the least, I hope you are doing well.

      1. Thirded. A lovely woman is Hilary, genuine to her core, there isn’t a mean bone in her. Unselfishly offered to send me some of her facemasks not long after the outbreak took a hold around the first lockdown, God love her.

        Also mcniven, not seen him post for a while. He can be a crotchety arl sod at times but tells it as he sees it. Nobody’s yes man. No airs & graces.

      2. Toffee I agree that Mcniv was a bit crotchety and I hope he is still well and afloat on his canal boat somewhere near Preston \Lancaster canal.?IF hes still afloat I wish him many more days of sailing.!

  7. This is what happens with the right-wing they can never accept they are to blame. It’s always Jeremy Corbin, Socialists, women pick your excuse he claims to take responsibility then lashes out.

    This and many more reasons is why I lost all faith in this cult of new Labour 2.0 like cancer has destroyed Labour and will end up destroying themselves because the Right-wing destroys never builds, it uses and abuses never trusts, has no hope, no plans and no clue and was rejected because of this and yet they still never learn…

  8. My Goodness, if he can do this much damage to the Labour party in only 13 months, then

    i) the trilateral billionaires,
    ii) a likud-supporting multi-millionaire backer or two (unadmitted in the case of Sir Trevor Chinn until Sir Keir was elected leader),
    iii) the Henry James Society, and
    iv) the CIA (for whom as DPP he eviscerated Julian Assange) must all be delighed with Sir Keir Starmer.

    Delighted! And, of course, it didn’t cost them a penny.

    1. except for Sir Trevor Chinn of course – who got tax relief on a very suspect (in how it was undisclosed) £50,000 for Sir Keir’s election as party leader.

  9. The far ranging, Zionist scorched earth policy is now scoring many victories for its psychopathic owners. I knew I was right to never join this party and to bale out of its Unite Union financial helpers last year.

  10. Put a motion to conference for members to be able to de-select their MPs? Else the Blairites are going to be self-perpetuating.

    1. Dave – “What if Johnson calls a GE and increases that majority, for another five years?”

      If that were to happen then Labour would be screwed until the Tories imploded, and that might be sometime never. The Tories are brilliant at reinventing themselves, already its as if the Cameron and May years never existed.

      1. Boundary changes due in 18months will motivate the Torys for a snap General election.The loss of Scotland and the North will ensure that the working-class are cut adrift and defenceless for many years to come.To rely on the unions to fight the good fight will not pan out although I hope and pray that the unions realise that its a absolute must to set up a new party for the working-class people who are in for a rough ride without a Opposition party.And that is why I say that you cannot vote Tory if you have any sense of morality…You cannot let the dogs out even tactically and expect anything other than a disaster for our people.

  11. Add to that – an urgent motion to expel Blair and Mandelson, from the party.

    1. An urgent motion to expel Blair and Mandelson,

      I have urgent motions to expel bliar and mandelson… Sometimes more than once a day! 😖

  12. When will face2face meetings between members & MPs be resumed? I give notice to my MP Bill Esterton of my first question………..’Many colleagues & comrades have been suspended from the Labour Party, often without knowing who their accuser is & the nature of any accusation.
    There appears to be a problem with morality in Starmer’s Labour Party. I am liable for suspension if I express an opinion on the Israeli State being an apartheid regime, as the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis addresses an AIPAC meeting in America & publicly denounces the Leader of the Socialist Labour Party in Britain. I question the morality of any religious leader who believes they have a right to instruct people’s political opinion.
    I have a problem with the morality of any organisation that suspends or expels their members without producing evidence to substantiate any complaint or failing to name the accuser; this an abuse of basic human rights. I look forward to face to face politics.

    1. Rayner has proven that she is an integrity free zone. Challenge Starmer yes, since the more Tories dressed in a red rosettes eat themselves, the better for all of the many. That’s all Rayner, Straw, Thornberry, Mandelson, Blair, Hodge, Streeting, Smith, Eagle and the rest of the infesting maggot covered are useful, is to gorge on their own filth. We must NEVER enable them. Why? Because that is the definition of insanity, and pathetic self destruction, and the dearth of self-respect that results in never-ending appeasement.

      1. The good think about Rayners challenging Starmer would be that she would need to resign her position as Deputy Leader.
        It could also encourage others to through their hats on the ring so to speak. Maybe we could have a third candidate that we could support.
        On a leadership contest between Starmer and Rayners, I will never vote for Rayners or Starmer, I cannot bother since they are as bad as eachother.

    2. “I have a problem with the morality of any organisation that suspends or expels their members without producing evidence to substantiate any complaint or failing to name the accuser; this an abuse of basic human rights. I look forward to face to face politics”

      I hate to tell you, but this but face to face meetings will make no difference to this Labour party. They are all either rotten, and/or too busy protecting their own backsides.

      The Labour party have been “fitting up” members (and I use that phrase without fear or favour), since since at least 2016. I got caught up with this nonsense in 2017, purely by accident of obeying the rule book and campaigning for a Labour candidate. It was after the GE election of 2017 and in the 17th listed Tory/Labour marginal constituency, we campaigned and won, we had to win if Corbyn was to form a government. We were sabotaged by our own campaign committee (I have emails to show the hostility towards our campaign). Then it got really nasty. It involves a (then) member of the NEC. The mother of a (then) Labour front bencher (allegedly a Corbyn supporter). A member of the North West regional board. Several Unite members including a member of their political committee. Several long standing councillors (even now, still in their council seats although well into their 80’s). And all with the collusion of the North West Regional Office and the staffers mentioned in the Labour leaked report. This was all conducted while face to face meetings were the norm and my MP was fully aware of this. Indeed, he knew that it was concocted with the help of members from a neighbouring constituency.

      I have emails, many of which have been submitted to the Forde inquiry as evidence into the workings of the GLU and I can substantiate everything I have posted. I have submitted a formal complaint to the Labour party, giving detailed, specific instances where the CLP secretary have violated my rights under the General Data Protection Requirements (GDPR). I have four ICO directives instructing Labour to supply me with information that I am entitled to in law, but which took two years and £1,600 to obtain. Even now, the Labour party solicitors have admitted that I do not have a complete Subject Access Request. And I know of at least some of the missing data, which show very shabby practice, thanks to decent people in the party.

      But the party are not listening nationally and individual MPs will not back members, for fear of upsetting the Israeli lobby and protecting their seat on the gravy train.

      So, good luck with tackling Bill Esterton your MP. Most of these MPs know full well what has been and still is happening to socialist members. After almost two years of trying to help me, because he knew something was rotten in Labour, I was told by my MP, the MP I can helped put into office, “I cannot help you”. He was at the time a front bench spokesman and still is, but who knows what the reshuffle will bring.

  13. A comment I made at 2.49 this afternoon still ‘awaits moderation’. Is that common? It was completely inoffensive. What can be done?

      1. No. It just came up in bright yellow that the post had been submitted for moderation. I have had this problem before and in the end the guy who runs this site saw my comment, agreed it was totally inoffensive and published it anyway. Apparently WordPress decide what they don’t like and don’t tell the poster or the site what the problem is.

    1. Paul – The most common problem is if you have more than one link in your comment it automatically goes to moderation.

  14. Tracy Brabin was named as the inaugural West Yorkshire mayor with 310,923 votes (59.8%) after second preference ballots were counted. The Conservative candidate, the Leeds city councillor Matthew Robinson, was runner-up with 209,137 votes (40.2%).

    The outcome of the by-election will be interesting

    1. SteveH, indeed it would be interesting. Another by-election for Starmer to lose?

      1. Nandy & Arseworth remain in place. Reeves replaces Dodds as i posted much earlier. Streeting to child poverty & Rayner Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster. 😂😂😂

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