News from the Ealing by election, where Cllr Sonika Nirwal, Leader of Labour's opposition group of Ealing Council has been ditched in favour of an all-male shortlist. A National Executive Committee (NEC) supervised meeting picked a shortlist of two men, veteran Ealing councillor Virendra Sharma and Oxford-educated barrister Jo Sidhu. Cllr Sharma, who has long fancied the seat, is hotly-tipped to win the internal selection tomorrow. There is speculation that another veteran Ealing councillor, Gurcharan Singh, may run as an independent after he failed to make the Southall shortlist.
Of course, the bigger story from Ealing Southall is that if the selection had prooceeded in the normal way, it would have been an All-Women Shortlist. Instead, it is an all-male shortlist. And Harriet Harman is the party chairman responsible for all this shambles. So much for her pledges on increasing the number of women in parliament. In her first act as party chair she's carved out all the women!
UPDATE 9.56am: According to THIS wikipedia entry edited last night, Virendra Sharma has already been selected!
Lord Rennard writes: 'The big news is the defection to us of Brij Mohan Gupta, Deputy Chair (Political) of Ealing Southall Conservatives and Vice-Chair of Southall Green and Southall Broadway Conservative ward parties. As he puts it himself: "Under David Cameron the Conservatives have become a party of style over substance. I agree with everything that Quentin Davies said about Mr Cameron. This by-election reflects Mr Cameron’s contempt for local Conservative members. His spin doctors ignored our wishes and forced the branch to accept someone whose commitment to the party is less than a week old. Almost all local Conservative party members feel like I do." '
The plot thickens!
There wasn't a young lady from Ealing
Who had a peculiar feeling
She laid on her back
and peed all over the ceiling
Cllr Sharma is a waste of space. Disaster for Labour here.
Excellent news about Alan Johnston in Gaza. More interesting than anything about Ealing?
If Cllr Sharma is selected today then Labour Vote will split (Sharma is Hindu and will get Hindu Votes)Respect has also declared they will also put their candidate, so they will be getting Muslim and anti war vote, this will favour us (Tories)and if Barrister jO Sidhu is selected then I doubt that he will get support from local labour councillors.
Interesting. I will be there tomorrow as well to do canvassing, every body who can make it please do come we have a chance to beat Labour and Lib Dem.
I thought there might be an indy run in a seat like Ealing should Labour not handle their candidate selection properly, politics in such seats is as much about personalities as party labels to certain extent(something the defection from the Tories reflects)... but, anything that has the potential to split the Labour vote has to be good news (with Respect, Greens, UKIP and a potential indy run by a local worthy, a party could win this election with well under 50% of the votes cast - and this in an election that is likely to see a low turnout).
I wonder what the 'Untouchables' think about it all. Now, any news from the political scene in the UK?
And the Tory vice chairman who has jumped ship to the Lib Dems is?
Nothing quite like an internal Labour "debate" spilling over into a selection battle.
I heard the Tory Association in Southall was moribund, which was the main reason why CCO had to jump in and take over.
So maybe Mr Gupta isn't such a big catch after all.
I'd love for Labour to lose this seat.
Sadly. It won't happen.
Tories may gain some, Libs will prob be in second and the Lab majority will halve.
That's about it.
You don't win by-elections unless the government of the day is hated and the electorate think you are 'the bollocks'.
Who thinks the Conservatives are the bollocks at the moment?
Don't think there's any need for Iain to trawl over the Gupta story that's been discussed elsewhere by Tories.
So Brij Mohan Gupta didn't make the selection shortlist then. Whatever.
"I heard the Tory Association in Southall was moribund, which was the main reason why CCO had to jump in and take over. So maybe Mr Gupta isn't such a big catch after all."
So moribund in fact that their candidate finished THIRD behind Labour and the LibDems at the last election. And did you hear that their candidate at this by-election doesn't even live there?
Many candidates attempting to be selected do not live in the constituency they are applying for. I am sure the idea is that constituencies are able to choose from a wide range of people with skills and ability that are attractive.
Of course if a by-election comes about and a constituency does not have a candidate selected to contest it, a party will move quickly to put a candidate in place. Any constituency that does not want a candidate imposed on them should really get one adopted.
The reason AWS was dropped is because Keith Vaz representing black socialists made it so. The NEC then led a process which resulted in AMS.
Quite a reverse!
Who is Keith Vaz aligned with? Jo or Virenda? It is certainly not women.
sounds like a right stitch-up
I'm not sure this is much of a story tbh Iain. The feeling was that Nirwal wasn't that well known in the constituency. The AWS would have been fine in a GE, but not really so appropriate in a by-election.
'Turmoil' is a word I'd reserve more for a prominent Tory defecting to the LibDems ...
The NEC moves in mysterious ways. Presumably there is some sound reason behind the choice of Mr. None and Mr. Ricin. But no-one has told me yet.
As for Virendra's wiki page being updated, Jo doesn't have a wiki page (yet) so you couldn't expect it to be updated.
The wikipedia entry seems now to have been correctly updated. Well spotted, Iain.
Harriet Harmen, in charge of a shambles, that can't be right.
Oh, if only she was deputy PM.
Crikey, what a dilemma for the modern PC brigade who care nothing for the actual qualities of candidates: Woman or ethnic minority candidate? Woman or ethnic minority candidate? Does not compute!!! Ah, how much simpler in the old days when all you had to do was ask: who is going to win us the seat?
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