Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Another Labour bust up in Gateshead

There appears to have been yet another bust up in the Labour party in Gateshead, this time in Saltwell, the ward of the Labour Leader Mick Henry, so my contacts inform me. Mick's ward colleague Joe Mitchison has been dumped as candidate. Joe is one of those people who you just can't help but like if you are not in the Labour party (though it seems that does not stretch to all Labour members themselves.) He is a friendly, jovial character who served as Mayor of Gateshead on three occasions. Alas, being a good mayor and a pleasant bloke was not enough to save him from deselection.

I now hear that there has been some unhappiness that Labour have put out a leaflet announcing that Joe has decided to "retire" from the council after many years of service. This airbrushing of history has not met with universal approval within Labour ranks where the rumblings of civil war over the leadership of the Labour group can be heard.

I am informed that those who pushed for Joe's deselection were underwhelmed by his not-overly-enthusiastic backing for the embattled and weakened Mick Henry who needed firmer support in his own backyard.

We are told that Mick's future is on a knife-edge. One or two deselections or seats changing hands could tip the balance. Will Joe's "retirement" be enough to keep Mick and the Labour "A Team" in power or will other changes elsewhere allow in the "B Team"? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Gateshead Labour Bust Up!

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