Friday, October 20, 2006

Angela Smith to Cut & Run?

It's not only Ed Balls who has a few problems with his seat. Labour MP Angela Smith currently sits for Basildon, but her boundaries are being redrawn to make it highly marginal. My sources tell me she wants to shift to the Thurrock seat, currently inhabited by the maverick thorn in Tony Blair's side, Andrew Mackinlay. Angela Smith's plans depend on Mackinlay retiring. I've no idea what his plans are but Angela Smith's acolytes are putting it around that he's had enough and will pack it in. Angela is a really nice woman and is one of the few Blair babes to have retained her sense of humour. Andrew Mackinlay is what I would describe as a proper parliamentarian - relentless in holding the government to account even if it is uncomfortable for his own Party. Obviously they are both political opponents, but that doesn't blind me to their qualities. Let's see who prevails.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Iain, Andrew Mackinlay has been after a seat in the House of Lords for a few years now! The Labour Party are yet to relent, but maybe his time has come!

Jon H said...

The new Thurrock seat is hardly rock solid for Labour either. They will probably be both out next time anyway!

Jon H said...

PS, the mustard yellow banner is Vile!

cynic said...

I'm sure the good people of Thurrock appreciate having the job of representing them horse-traded for loyalty by Labour nobs. I can't imagine Mackinley would go down without a fight - although Thurrock bears precious few similarities to Blenau-Gwent aside from that...

Anonymous said...

Surprised at your defence of Mackinlay, Iain. The man has blood on his hands from his disgraceful and discourteous behaviour towards Dr David Kelly at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in July 2003.

newmania said...

Britain is clearly yearning for its opportunity to vote Brown -nose out of office but in the meantime people are voting with their feet. Such is the gleeful exodus from Nu-Lab desolation zones that inevitably Conservative areas fill up with people. This is why the boundary commission were due to award us about 40 seats. Somewhat calamitous for the enemy, this, as they were already relying on a highly questionable Scottish dispensation which in effect doubles their heartland’s votes. Not only that but taxes on average are sucked out of the South and pumped into the North and Celtic fringe via the Barnett formula in the case of Scotland. The boundary commission is crucial, and as with all important constitutional issues Labour are cheating. They have cooked up an absurd dispute concerning Ed Ball and his wife and this fiction will delay proceedings for very long time. They may even get past the next election. Surely there must be some Labour MP`s, looking at the lengths they have to go to hoodwink the electorate, asking themselves, what is the point of us then? Don’t ask me

Red Box said...

No comments on Birmingham Ladywood yet?

Kevin Flack said...

Iain,
For once you've got it wrong there. As her Parliamentary Acoloyte (offical) I can confirm Angela Smith has already told her party members she is standing for selection for the new seat of South Basildon & East Thurrock, which consists of the majority of her current seat. Luckly, as you say, she retains a sense of humour and unlike the Tory Party, Labour MPs aren't allowed to go on a chicken run. Kevin Flack

David Boothroyd said...

I think you may have been confused by the boundary changes which result from an extra seat in this area of South Essex. Andrew Mackinlay's Thurrock loses a chunk around Stanford-le-Hope but remains Thurrock. However, Basildon is split down the middle. Basildon and Billericay is a new marginal incorporating the new town of Basildon and the old market town of Billericay (Teresa Gorman's old seat, although not the safest Tory bit of it).

The rest of present Basildon merges with the bit taken off Thurrock to become "South Basildon and East Thurrock". This is better for Labour than Basildon and Billericay, and is the seat I would expect Angela Smith to go for. It sounds like a merger of her seat with Andrew Mackinlay's but in reality it's more like her existing constituency having lost its northern bit.

Little Black Sambo said...

I don't agree that Andrew Mackinlay behaved disgracefully and discourteously to Dr David Kelly at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. I watched him carefully and he was clearly trying to get past Kelly to the repulsive New Labourites who had set him up. This had the unfortunate effect of drawing yet more fire away from the guily ones.

Anonymous said...

Thurrock Labour party don't want Angela Smith - new Councillor Richard Bingley is being groomed as Mackinlays heir apparent. However Thurrock Labour Party Chair Councillor Val Cook-Morris also has her eye on this seat. Her husband Carl is Andrew's parliamentary assistant.

The new Thurrock seat only loses the ward of East Tilbury to the new South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency. East Tilbury has seen a total collapse of a once rock solid Labour vote with more than 90% of people voting for independent candidates in local elections.

East Tilbury is where Andrew Mackinlay sent a handwritten letter to residents in the East Tilbury and Linford part of his constituency during the General Election denouncing Tory scaremongering over proposals to build 14,000 homes nearby as part of the Thames Gateway development. He denied that any such plans existed.

A few weeks after the General Election, residents were unimpressed to learn that developers are planning to build - you guessed it - 14,000 homes.

Gracchi said...

Mackinlay doesn't have the responsibility for Kelly's death he tried to ask a question and Kelly couldn't answer and Mackinlay pressed him.

He is actually a good MP really questioning people and pressing them for answers. He is actually interested in the truth which makes him different from many of the other people aroudn the government- he isn't perfect but is better than most.

Thurrock Red said...

What Angela Smith tells her party members in Basildon and what discussions she is having with Thurrock Labour party are two completely seperate things!

Anonymous said...

So which leading Thurrock Labour member with parliamentary ambitions was overheard saying "Over my dead body" when they were approched about the availability of the Thurrock seat?

And who is very vocal in her objections!

Rather not say said...

The same thing applies to Sarah Teather LibDem MP. Her Brent seat goes so she is considering standing for the new Brent South. It is considered a dead cert she will win.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Mackinlay might have been *trying* to get past the 'repulsive New Labourites who set Dr David Kelly up', but the *effect* of what he said, in loud and uncouth tones ('you're just chaff, arencha?') was so hectoring and bullying that Kelly appeared to shrink visibly, and his suicide shortly afterwards (if indeed it was suicide. I wonder...) always struck me as probably having been a direct consequence of Mackinlay's bullying. I always wondered how Mackinlay had the gall to continue in his post and not resign on the spot, but then some people are just thick-skinned, aren't they?

RedEye said...

Kevin Flack is right. Sitting Labour MPs cannot apply to be selected for another constituency unless:
a) Their existing constituency is redrawn or abolished (as happened to Malcolm Savidge in Aberdeen)
b) Parts of their old seat go into a new one (as happened to Malcolm Savidge, with wards from his existing Aberdeen North seat going into a new, redrawn Aberdeen North)
c) They lose out in a selection contest for a seat which contains part(s) of their old one (as, again, happened to Savidge, when he lost out to Frank Doran, who was also entitled to seek selection for the new Aberdeen North, when it contained wards from the Aberdeen Central seat for which he sat), in which case they're entitled to seek selection for any seat. Savidge did this unsuccessfully (seeking selection for Stoke Central in the run-up to the 2005 GE), but Ed Balls will probably do it successfully.

David Boothroyd said...

Rather not say: Teather has declared that she will be seeking to stand in Brent Central, rather than Hampstead and Kilburn. Most of Brent Central comes from Dawn Butler's Brent South and it is almost certain to be Labour in the next election - while Hampstead and Kilburn is likely to be a fascinating three way marginal.

Anonymous said...

Thurrock voters will learn how very anti-English Labour are during any future elections, they will also hear about Cameron's anti-English rant in Glasgow. Maybe an English Democrat will stand. I hope so.