Nick Clegg has called for unity as the Liberal Democrat conference opens in Liverpool after Lib Dem councillors on three different councils defected to Labour.
Barnsley’s only Liberal Democrat councillor, Sharron Brook, who had represented the town’s Dearne Valley South ward as a Liberal Democrat since 2003, told the BBC that: “I went into a briefing on a white paper for children [as chairman of the council's children's services scrutiny panel]. There was nothing in there for the children of the borough or anywhere else in the country. They are going to put the weakest to the wall. That was the last straw.”
In Solihull, Shirley West Lib Dem councillor Simon Slater [...]
Labour’s leadership candidates have warmly welcomed councillor Elaine Costigan into the Labour Party after she dramatically defected declaring that she was “ashamed to be a Conservative” because of cuts to the Building Schools for the Future fund, reports the BBC:
Ms Costigan, who is deputy leader of the Conservative group at the council, said: “This community has been treated with utter contempt by the government over the slashing of the school building programme.
“When Michael Gove backed out of his promise to come and apologise to the parents, pupils and staff he had so badly let down, I felt ashamed to be a Conservative.”
Ray Nock, leader of the Conservatives on the [...]
Although the bulk of cuts in public services are yet to be announced, eight principled Liberal Democrat councillors have recently taken the lead in rejecting Lib Dem support of the Conservative policies by quitting the party, reports The Independent:
The rebellion suggests that Mr Clegg could face a rough ride when his party holds its annual conference in Liverpool in two weeks. Four councillors in Halton, Cheshire, who have quit the party and now sit as independents, said the Liberal Democrats had become “nodding dogs for the Tories”. One of them, Peter Blackmore, said he “can’t look people in the eye” because of the spending cuts.
In Liverpool, Councillor Ian [...]
Alan Johnson, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, has told his local paper that he has decided to stand in the Shadow Cabinet elections in the Autumn, quashing previous suggestions that he planned to return to the backbenches.
After the election, Mr Johnson told the Hull Daily Mail that; “I may not put myself forward for the shadow cabinet elections and am thinking about going on to the back benches,” but this week he has told the paper that:
“Having thought about it over the summer, I have decided to stand for a shadow cabinet post.
“Whether I get elected is another matter.
“I would be delighted to continue as shadow [...]
Gordon Brown has written movingly in The Huffington Post of his support for a huge, co-ordinated response to the recent Pakistan floods:
I have proposed a global reconstruction corps to offer civilian help – engineers, doctors, builders – to build homes, rebuild the schools, staff the hospitals and get agriculture and industry moving again. We have set up a British corps – and a global volunteer corps is more important and imperative than ever. To make it effective on the ground in Pakistan we need of course an agreement with all Pakistani parties that they will use and work with a Reconstruction Corps.
But we do have to ask ourselves one [...]
The Conservative Party victor of the recent by-election in Medway’s River Ward has resigned after just 13 days in office the local newspaper reports:
“Yourmedway approached Mr Craggs for a comment and was told that a full statement detailing the reasons behind his resignation would be released later this afternoon.
However, we are led to believe that Mr Craggs was told he must choose between serving as a special constable, a position he has held for 17 years, and a Medway councillor.”
Mr Craggs narrowly won the River ward by-election on Thursday, August 12, after polling 617 votes. The Labour candidate, John James, came a close second with 544 votes.
Medway Council’s Returning [...]
Former Deputy Leader Lord Prescott has said the party has forgotten how to organise and called for limits on party political spending, repeating claims he recently made to The Guardian that the Party is close to bankruptcy.
Calling for a membership drive, John Prescott, who is campaigning to be elected Treasurer of the Party, told the Scottish Parliament’s annual Festival of Politics:
“We want a strong treasurer who’s involved in the membership drive, putting a proper financial account into the party, and is an active political person in making that accountable to the constituencies. You can go on if you like and just have somebody doing what’s always been the [...]
David Blunkett has responded to a story in the Mail on Sunday which today suggests that he might take a job in the coalition government, advising on welfare reform.
Writing on his blog Mr Blunkett explained that he was happy to work with think tanks, but dismissed suggestions that he would advise the coalition government:
“Now that Iain Duncan Smith is the Work and Pensions Secretary and has obviously severed his links with the Centre for Social Justice, the CSJ is seeking a greater degree of independence and has approached me to see if I would be prepared to act as an advisor.
“I have asked the CSJ to come [...]
The current Chairman of the Conservative Party, Baroness Warsi, and and Lib Dem Chris Huhne held a joint press conference today to put the ConDem spin on the employment figures and accuse Labour of being “in denial” of the need for spending cuts.
If it seems unusual for leading politicians to be trying to influence the media in the August ’silly season’, when most are taking a break from politics, it’s even more unusual because the employment figures showed the number of EMPLOYED people from April to June INCREASED sharply by 184,000 – the result of the previous Labour Government’s economic policies.
The Baroness Warsi repeated the lie that the [...]
The River Ward by-election for Medway Council on 12 August is a straight fight between Labour and the Conservatives, as the results of the 2007 council elections show. Labour’s defending a seat in a ward which returned one Labour and one Tory councillor, so it can only help that Labour’s candidate, John Jones, was recently given the assistance of one of the Leadership candidates:
Ed Miliband stopped off in Brompton last Wednesday afternoon to help prospective councillor John Jones canvass ahead of the by-election on August 12.
The election was prompted by the resignation of Bill Esterson, who was elected MP for Sefton Central, near Liverpool in the general [...]