Thursday, November 17, 2011

Labour divisions on Tyneside hit the boundary

The internal row in the Labour Party on Tyneside burst out for all to see earlier this week at the North East hearings on the Boundary Commissions proposals for new constituencies. Labour MPs are openly arguing for the retention of their own constituencies with the knock on effect that they inadvertently (or arguably deliberately) dump all over their colleagues. Our regional newspaper, the Evening Chronicle, reports that, "...such is the depth of infighting in Labour's Tyneside heartland that Greg Clark, Labour's head of political strategy, was yesterday unable to offer an alternative proposal as behind-the-scenes rows rumble on." We already knew of the bunfight in Labour's ranks. It's interesting to see it all over the newspapers.

Some MPs are coming up with interesting tactics to keep their constituencies. David Anderson in Blaydon argues the new boundaries cannot go ahead as the Angel of the North would end up in a Sunderland constituency. I hear of another MP whose partner turned up to speak as an "ordinary member of the public" without mentioning the rather close relationship to the MP whose constituency this member of the public was attempting to retain. Meanwhile, former minister Nick Brown has created a set of proposals which, the Chronicle claims, "would prevent the long standing MP having to bid for reselection against a different constituency party not necessarily loyal to Mr Brown."

Some in Labour warned before the last general election that a Tory win would mean the return of blood sports. Perhaps they were right, but not quite as they meant it!

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