The high flying political career of Newcastle City Council's leader Nick Forbes could be about to come crashing down. With local elections looming in May, Labour selections are taking place and Nick seems to have run into a sticky problem - his ward branch in Arthur's Hill have opted for a different candidate. According to local sources, Cllr Forbes was beaten by a "landslide". It turns out that 4 people at the branch meeting voted for Nick and 13 voted for the other candidate, Abdul Samad. Hardly a landslide and you have to have some sympathy for Cllr Forbes, given that his career has been put in doubt by the actions of a tiny number of Labour activists who turned up on a cold evening for a meeting. Nevertheless, that's the Labour rule book in operation though there is talk of official complaints and challenges to the results.
Speaking as someone in politics who prefers to go when I want to, I wish Nick well. Maybe he will be parachuted into another ward in Newcastle or perhaps given a seat in the House of Lords! (He's a big mate of Sir Keir.) And if he wants time to contemplate his future, he can pop over to my smallholding and help me muck out the goats and chickens. You never know, it could give him ideas on how to sort out the Labour Party!