Analysis Exclusive

Exclusive: worried Labour puts 3-line whip on councillors to campaign in seat where it had 68% of vote in last election

Fazakerley ‘Community Independent’ candidate wins support of community leaders and generates campaign ‘buzz’ – and Starmer’s Labour press-gangs councillors into canvassing in what was one of the safest seats in the country

Liverpool Community Independents’ candidate in the Fazakerley by-election, Laura Wharton, is seeing a big response among community leaders

A panicked Labour party has imposed a three-line whip to force Labour councillors to campaign in Liverpool’s Fazakerley ward – a council seat that ha previously been one of the party’s safest in the UK, with a 68% Labour majority the last time residents went to the ballot box.

Something appears to be happening in Liverpool – and it seems that the Independent candidate Laura Wharton has Keir Starmer’s party and its representatives in the region seriously worried.

Wharton, a community worker, is a former Labour member and is backed by the Liverpool Community Independents group, which formed as part of the rebellion against Labour’s Starmer-approved swingeing cuts in this year’s budget.

£11.7 million of those cuts were signed off by Social Care and Health Cabinet member Frazer Lake – who is a Fazakerley councillor. To add to the controversy and Labour’s out-of-touch appearance, the party’s candidate Helen Stephens was selected despite having resigned in pique over members’ decision not to select her in neighbouring Warbreck. According to Labour’s rules, candidates must have at least twelve months’ uninterrupted membership to stand – unless, apparently, you are a Starmer-backing right winger.

The lively Laura Wharton campaign has seen campaigners gathering outside local schools to explain the likely impact of the City Council’s £16 million energy bill fiasco on school budgets. Wharton has the backing of the major community figures in the ward.

Jean Martin worked as manager of Fazakerley Community Federation for thirty-five years. She said recently:

I am supporting Laura because she is for our people and our community. I’ve worked with Laura over the lockdown for the past two years and we’ve stayed friends.

Laura’s played a big part in our partnership work. She knows the community really well. She will do a first-class job for this community.

Rona Heron, manager of the Fazakerley Community Library until recently, said:

I’m backing Laura Wharton as an Independent councillor for Fazakerley as she’s exactly what the community needs. Laura is hard working, transparent and will continue to protect the local Library and community assets from being under threat of closure. Laura will defend what is right for the community and will be visible at all times unlike the current councillors. Laura is an expert at community engagement.

Fazakerley Well-Being CIC works in partnership with Fazakerley Wombles and Friends of Seeds Lane Park with the goals to improve local parks’ cleanliness and improve facilities whilst bringing existing facilities back into community use. The CIC’s Scott McAllister said:

For too long, Fazakerley has been neglected, but by working together we can change that. Laura Wharton genuinely cares about people. She has spent her life supporting those in need. I know that she will work with residents and community groups to give Fazakerley the representation we deserve. Please give Laura your support on Thursday 30th June.

Alfie Hincks, managing director of Seascope Maritime Training, and a local resident and Everton councillor, brought Newhall pool, closed by Labour for eleven years, back to life. He said:

Our Community in Fazakerley worked with the Federation delivering 350 food parcels a week during the pandemic. The Labour Cllrs were nowhere to be seen. I brought the swimming pool back to life and there are now swimming sessions for the community. Fazakerley deserves better than Labour. Fazakerley deserves Laura Wharton.

More and more Labour members and officers across the city have also been resigning their membership in order to campaign for Wharton and support the Community Independents group.

The use of a three-line whip – the heaviest the party can bring to bear – on councillors to force them to campaign in the ward shows a remarkable level of fear among the party’s hierarchy of what may be happening in Fazakerley and suggests that the party is struggling to find anyone willing to do the yards to go door to door for a party whose leader has declared war on the city.

That this is happening in Liverpool, usually a Labour stronghold, is remarkable – but that drought, along with the resulting use of councillors to try to fill the yawning gap, has been seen all over the country for months now, even in parliamentary by-elections, as Starmer’s lack of principle, backbone and substance bites.

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  1. Wakefield voters are being bombarded with Youtube ads for their stitch-up candidate.

    Someone reported that all the Wakefied postcode area (WF) are seeing multiple ads every time they open Youtube. Users don’t have to be logged in, merely open Youtube in the Wakefield area and up pops the ad prior to playing content.

    Either : Labour are spending millions, like spend, spend, spend Viv Nicholson or someone is pulling strings for them? Saturation levels of advertising. It’s so over the top for a by-election it’s plain weird.

    In other news. An observer poll shows Boris Johnson has a two-point lead over Keir Starmer on who’d make the best Prime Minister. Even the guardian covered this one.

    You’ve still got centrist journo Starmer apologists, like Sonia Sodha, claiming Labour’s yo-yoing ratings are all Corbyn’s fault. But Starmer started with very high ratings and has drifted down and down over the last two years. How does she explain that decline the more people have seen of him?

    1. Thank goodness, Labour’s campaign team is at last getting there act together

      1. I’m surprised they’ve still got a campaign team.

      2. SteveH it is easier to get “the act together” on a bi-election. However, if this level of exposure is needed to ensure a win in a previous Labour safe seat it doesn’t bode well on the prospects for Labour winning a General Election.
        Simply put Labour at present doesn’t have the resources to replicate this strategy across another 200 seats (Labour marginals plus targeted marginal Tory seats)
        Sorry to burst your bubble.

    2. Is Sodha another one where Corbyn lives rent free in her head. Or has she got a direct line to the Mandelson school of no matter what happens blame Corbyn for everything.

      1. More likely to be Freedland. Both graduates of The Guardian and Observer school of journalism.

      2. SteveH & BackofBeyond

        Many areas under the Wakefield postcode (WF) don’t live or have a vote in that particular constituency though, so it seems unfocused.

        It’s reported even those who’ve cleared all cookies and not logged into their Youtube account still get the ad. Therefore it must be based on public IP address, which is a bit sinister too.

      3. Andy – I’m struggling to see why it is sinister, it is common practice to use location info to target campaigns.

      4. SteveH

        Is it?

        I’ll admit don’t know the specific legal requirements for using personally identifiable information in targeted political advertising campaigns.

      5. Andy – It is up to the user whether they allow the likes of Google and YouTube access to their location info.

      6. SteveH

        True. But I don’t think most people expect that information to be used for targeted political ads. And if not logged in you’d think they wouldn’t be serving personalised ads based on public IP address alone, as is apparently the case here.

        Just shows the extent to which all browsing is being monetised, I guess.

      7. Andy – There are ways around it for those that want to maintain their privacy but most people don’t seem to give a toss.

      8. Andy ” it must be based on public IP address, which is a bit sinister…”.

        Indeed. Everything about surveillance captalism,
        i) its use to control and manipulate us;
        ii) the (mostly newlabour) legislation that enables it; and
        iii) the technology that capacitates it

        – is sinister and fascist-enabling. Globo-capitalism and fascism are not happening together by accident. Keir show-me-your-papers Starmer is a ‘man of the moment’ for Klaus Schwab and ahis New World Order which hates socialism and human rights.

      9. qwertboi – Why are you are so desperately trying to make something out of nothing?
        Why are you getting your knickers in such a twist about what is nothing more than the modern equivalent of a mail shot?

    3. Andy – You forgot to mention that Keir’s approval index is 21% points ahead of Johnson’s. A reversal of where Corbyn was against Johnson on the same metric.

      1. Keir’s ‘approval index’ ?

        How does that relate to being repellent in both sensers of the word… i), able to repel votes, and ii), causing repulsion or disgust in voters?

        23 June might will help you understand it better: no matter how much money that insolvent Labour begs or borrows from tax-dodging businesses to pay Fbook and Twitter for W’FIELD adds, Labour’s slim victory will be pointless and pyrrhic.

      2. qwertboi – I’m sorry but I can’t make sense of your comment. Why don’t you have another try.

      3. Very serious point brought up by quertboi and the increasingly frightning prospect of digital ID and a whole history of a individual that is being expanded to include the family and everything to make all of us digital slaves de humanized.
        ..Steve H is either stupid or deceitful in dismissing the greatest threat to the freedoms of ordinary people going on without consultation behind closed doors by the new world order and their neo liberal lackys.And as for Wakefield then whats it come to when voters are conned by the best adverts for a candidate and whoever secretly funds it as with the labour leader himself all smoke and mirrors….activists and a good labour leader with a good argument for change are consigned to the dustbin of history by a computer says no “…

      4. Joseph “Steve H is either stupid or deceitful in dismissing the greatest threat to the freedoms”

        When have I ever dismissed the threats to our privacy that the internet poses. I take what I consider to be proportionate steps to protect my privacy, do you?

  2. Surely it would be remiss of the Labour party not to put their weight behind every election campaign. As for LAs setting illegal budgets well Jeremy Corbyn made it very clear when he was leader that he was opposed to this course of action because of its futility.

    “Jeremy Corbyn has written to all Labour council leaders calling on them to resist calls to set illegal no cuts budgets.
    In the letter co-signed by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Shadow Local Government Secretary Jon Trickett, Corbyn points out that failure to set balanced budgets could see “Tory minister deciding council spending priorities”, and warns that “their priorities would certainly not meet the needs of the communities that elected us”.
    There have been some calls from Labour’s left for councils to reject cuts to local government spending, and for Labour councillors to refuse to vote through budget cuts – including in the past from the Labour Representation Committee, while John McDonnell served as chair. However, this letter makes clear that McDonnell does not support that view.

    Follow the link to read JC’s letter to council Labour’s council leaders.

    1. that’s the third time today that you’ve posted that. Desperate much?

      (It’s going over my head what you think it’s showing.)

      1. I think it may be a permanent cut-and-paste effort. Always appears with the same errors.

      2. George – It’s a cut and paste from the original article, if there are errors they are not mine. Please feel free to follow the link and confirm this for yourself.

      3. qwertboi – (It’s going over my head what you think it’s showing.)

        That’s your problem not mine.

  3. Starmer’s pissed on his chips as far as many Labour activists are concerned.
    Labour members in West Yorkshire are getting desperate emails to go and work in Wakefield.
    They should be so lucky !! Lucky-lucky-lucky !!

    1. johnsco1 – What are the odds on the left’s candidates losing their deposits? 😏

    2. Even former members who cancelled their DD (instead of filling in a resignation form) get them.

      They convince me I was right to cancell my payment (and therefore membership) last October.

      1. SteveH13/06/2022 AT 11:54 AM
        Have you been missed yet

        Probably not. Qwertboi’s still most likely counts as one of this mythical 430,000. 🙂

    1. Yep, de piffle puts the kybosh on any idea of free school meals to aid struggling parents.

      ..And not a peep from keef. Once again, it’ll be a footballer provides the opposition to the ‘rags

      (Whatever happened to pledge #10 – effective opposition to the tories??? )

  4. Andy, in reply to your questions.

    This appears to be similar to the tactics Trump used In the 2016 US presidential campaign. Adds were targeted, so in black areas that were likely to vote Democrat, negative ads would be sent hoping to deter voters from turning out. Areas more likely to vote Republican were targeted with positive messages.

    In the US, when voters were shown the information the Republican party kept on them, they were rightly concerned and appalled as they had no knowledge of this practice. This was covered by Chanel 4 News during the 2020 Presidental election.

    Labour are working on the assumption that targeted adds will replace the need for activists, which is why the left are being sidelined and removed. The possibility to undermine democracy is obvious and something we should all be very concerned about. If political parties are storing sensitive information, we have the right to know. Political data is classed as sensitive and give a special category for it’s protection. Imagine if an employer were to get hold of our voting intentions etc. We cannot take action to keep our data private, if we have no knowledge that it’s being held.

    If you check the Labour party privacy policy (link below), it shows the scope of the information Labour are keeping and it’s vast. Data is being stored not only on members, but on anybody who comes into contact with them. This can be a donation (even years back), a reply to a post on social media, telling a canvasser on the doorstep that you will vote Labour or purchased information (eg the electoral register, census etc).

    This is why the Labour data breach is so suspect and why it needs to be explained. We don’t know who’s data, or what kind of data has been compromised and Labour will not give out any information. The ICO is dragging it’s heels on this, they know full well that Labour has not been abiding by GDPR (data protection) and that this breach is serious.

      1. Because it’s ALL about the wee fella.

        (When it’s not about keefs’ popularity and his 430,000 membership 🤭)

        PS He’s worried enough to keep schtum on his usual lost deposit guff, I notice.😏

      2. Doh…. Spoke too soon.

        Oh well, congrats to whoever drew that one from the wee fellas response sweepstakes.

      3. Your earlier response is legal nonsense steveH. Data obtained from or submitted by anyone is subject to the strict requirements of the DPA. Of which the management numpties i/c of the LP are in clear breach.

        Your pathetic attempts to shift the onus, and thus the blame, onto the victims tells us all just what kind of person you are.

        The kind of person detailed in this piece:

      4. Dave – Really, are you going to report it to the ICO?🤔
        Please don’t forget to keep us all informed about the outcome of your complaint.

      5. So no progress yet then, please keep us informed about any updates

      6. Thanks for pointing out that this was also a problem in the Corbyn years

      7. ……Which the ICO followed up earlier this year as reported on the Skwawkbox:

        Which interestingly drew the following BTL observation…..

        qwertboi – You must have missed this bit in the above article

        ““in documents seen by Skwawkbox, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed that the party is compounding its breach – by failing to meet its legal obligations to respond to ‘Subject Access Requests’ (SARs) from those affected.

        …..from one of the posters using the collective handle “steveH”

        Along with this salient comment based on personal experience – which mirrors that of my own with the ICO on LP misuse of members data:

        “John Mcilveen
        I’m not sure that the Labour Party is in for quite as rough a ride from the ICO as readers might infer from your article. I got a reply from the ICO this week following a complaint to them about Labour’s lack of response to my SAR. The ICO’s response was, and I quote, “The ICO has had a meeting with the Labour Party and we are now of the understanding that the Labour Party intend to provide a response to all outstanding requests as soon as possible. Therefore, if you continue to not receive a response from the Labour Party regarding this matter, I would advise contacting the Labour Party about these concerns. The ICO’s role is to provide an outcome to individuals and we are unable to act as a mediator in these situations.”
        All pretty wishy washy, and the ICO seems to recognise that if an organisation like Labour obfuscates and delays long enough, there’s nothing the ICO can do about it other than refer you back to the organisation that ignored your request in the first place. I have now submitted a complaint to the ICO about their own lack of action, and I’d advise your readers to do the same.”

        To sum up: Firstly, One of your number, steveH, has already answered the question you have posed here today some two months ago.

        Things are looking bad when you can’t even keep up with yourself eh steveH!

        Secondly, as consistently pointed out to you, the evidence is that ICO is, like every other institution and organisation in this Rotten Borough, a bought and paid for toothless Establishment entity.

        However, that does not negate the illegality taking place in terms of existing legislation.

      8. Dave – I’m struggling to see why you thought it was relevant to quote my comment from an earlier article. Anyone reading the full thread that you’ve linked to can see that I have quoted the text of the article as part of my query as to why given that SW had seen the letter in question there wasn’t a redacted copy of the letter that we could read. It doesn’t seem to add up to much of a gotcha moment. Never mind, better luck next time.

  5. 68%. of the vote, eh? Hmmm🤔 That’s not too far off the 66% of Wakefield voting leave in 2015.

    And despite the electorate increasing labour’s vote share there in 2017, I really can’t put my finger on why they turned their backs on labour in 2019…Perhaps they got pissed off with their centrist (tory-lite) Corbyn-hating MP and EU fanatic mary creagh?

    Of course, I expect we’ll be told the ‘real’ reason when he reads this post….😙🎶

    1. If dear Mary stands against JC at the next general election, I am sure many of us will be making the trek to Islington to lend support to the campaign for the incumbent, with “Down with Carpetbaggers” worn proudly on our backs!

  6. In other news, the economy’s shrank by 0.3% 🙄

    (And I’m STILL to hear keef utter so much as a murmur about the kid’s school meals 😒)

    1. Well toffee we are now in the hands of fake news,fake pols fake elections such as the General election were money was diverted(stolen)by the labour party management under the noses of Corbyn and the left.This must have emboldened the starmerites to carry on with their criminal activities and what we see today…a labour party in the gutter.and criminals awarded peerages for robbery of the labour party members.

      1. Joseph – Do you have any credible evidence to support your fake accusations.

      2. Already submitted my evidence to the Forde Inquiry. Adding to the plethora of evidence already in the public domain.

        Having previously had substantial evidence provided (on other matters) dismissed out of hand – with no counter arguments to refute that evidence – by steveH I would not bother wasting my time asking for that evidence steveH as everyone here has long understood that evidence which does not fit the subjective fantasies of your head dies not count.

      3. Dave – Really? I’ll take another look at it if you post the link.

  7. Just when you thought that they could sink no lower ……………
    ……… news that the monsters are trying to oust Apsana Begum.
    If they succeed, I shall no longer be taking my bat home (i.e. concentration on anti-war groups) I will be out batting for any other side that is available.

  8. If Labour were Labour, a person like Sir Keir Rodney would not be in it, nevermind its leader.

    At the moment, it’s only a reckless propsal, but what’s the chances that the Government’s wish to use agency workers to break strikes came from a boss’ pressure group like the Trilateral Commission – and that the UK’s only living non-billionaire member of it, Sir Keir Rodney Starmer, is going to say nothing on the matter?

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