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Inside the Labour purge Starmer is already losing control

Diane Abbott has confirmed she will stand. (Alishia Abodunde/Getty Images)

Diane Abbott has confirmed she will stand. (Alishia Abodunde/Getty Images)


May 31, 2024   5 mins

Diane Abbott, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Faiza Shaheen — within a matter of hours, all had fallen victim to the Starmerite machine. Led by campaign chief Morgan McSweeney and candidate supremo Matt Faulding, Keir Starmer’s inner circle have shown themselves to be more ruthless than any leadership team in Labour history. Jeremy Corbyn’s consiglieri were benign and amateur in comparison.

Only four years ago, when running for Labour leader, Starmer promised party members that he would be different. “The selections for Labour candidates need to be more democratic and we should end NEC impositions of candidates,” he tweeted in February 2020. “Local Party members should select their candidates for every election.” There were no caveats; his promise couldn’t have been clearer.

More than a year later, when we briefly chatted at a book launch in London, Starmer was still singing the same tune. He once again insisted that Labour would embrace greater transparency when it came to parliamentary selections. There would, he assured me, be no parachuting in of candidates “like the Milibands” — a reference to brothers David and Ed, both social advisers who were found seats before the 2001 and 2005 elections respectively. We even discussed the dangers of finding seats for some of his closest advisers — people who might make excellent cabinet ministers but could struggle to win over a local Labour Party.

Back then, I could not have predicted how ruthless and clinical those same advisers would be. On Monday and Tuesday, no fewer than seven Labour MPs announced they were standing down at the election. This sudden rush of departures was remarkable, but no coincidence.

While the number of Conservative resignations has steadily grown over the past three years, Labour’s tally has been strikingly low. In the 16 months between September 2022 and January 2024, for example, just two Labour MPs announced they were stepping aside. And yet, it was obvious to many that significantly more had made the decision to retire, but were deliberately holding back to help the party leadership. For as we saw this week, by delaying their announcement until very close to the election, they would allow the NEC to claim it’s far too late to involve party members in the selection decision. They would, as a result, have to “parachute” someone in.

Within hours of this week’s retirements, sources within Labour HQ told me who their lucky replacements would be. In each seat, the NEC went through the process of interviewing a shortlist of names — but everyone knew who they were going to pick.

So, in Makerfield, near Wigan in Lancashire, the NEC panel imposed Josh Simons, the director of the Starmerite think tank Labour Together. For Leyton and Wanstead, where John Cryer, chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, stood down on Monday, they chose Calvin Bailey, a former RAF squadron leader who Starmer’s team see as a future Defence Secretary. In both constituencies, the first Labour members heard of the decisions was following leaks on social media.

Such manoeuvrings, of course, have long been part of Labour’s DNA. Among friends, Tony Blair has admitted his deep regret after chaperoning duff MPs into the Lords so he could snatch their empty seats. It effectively amounted to bribery, though you wouldn’t be able to convince a court of law it happened.

Even so, in 1997, the 69-year-old Labour MP Sir Ray Powell blew the gaff on the whole process when he publicly claimed he’d been offered a peerage by a senior Labour figure to give up his seat in South Wales. At around the same time, the same deal was offered to John Gilbert, the MP for Dudley North who’d been minister in Callaghan’s government during the Seventies. But Gilbert was a tough negotiator. He insisted a peerage wasn’t enough — he wanted to be Ambassador to Washington. That was, however, a demand too far for Blair’s people, so they instead promised that Gilbert would get both a peerage and a ministerial job for two years in the new government. And just like that he became minister of state at the MoD.

What was Blair’s game-plan here? At the time, he was worried — believe it or not — that there would be too few lawyers on the Labour benches, and not enough to fill the law officer posts. So to remedy this, his old flat-mate Charlie Falconer was summoned for Dudley North. However, when he went before the NEC committee, Falconer was asked where he sent his sons to school; and when he admitted they attended distinguished private schools, Westminster and St Paul’s, his ambitions were snuffed out.

Almost three decades later, I accept of course — as I suggested to Starmer himself — that he can’t act in a wholly democratic manner. Party leaders should have some scope to get top talent into the Commons, because it’s vital that governments are formed from the best and the brightest. And it’s an unfortunate fact that some extremely able people do not get through selection processes, or have the right local connections to secure a seat in a Labour area. If that’s the case, on rare occasions the suspension of local party democracy can be justified. But you should still be open and honest about what you’re doing.

This time around, by contrast, it’s bogus to argue that Labour had no option but to impose candidates from head office on the grounds that there isn’t time for a proper form of selection. The Conservatives, after all, are still involving party members in their last-minute selections, many of which will take place this weekend. Even if the Tories’ final three-name shortlists have been influenced by CCHQ, at least they get some sort of choice.

Moreover, it’s not even as if this week’s NEC parachute operations have yielded a raft of future political geniuses. Indeed, no fewer than five of the leaked names are themselves members of the National Executive, including James Asser, chair of the NEC, who was yesterday handed West Ham and Beckton. Perhaps most revealing of all is the man chosen to stand in North Durham: Luke Akehurst, the ruthless leader of the NEC’s Right-leaning faction who has long argued that there is no room for dissent in the Parliamentary Labour Party.

“it’s not even as if this week’s NEC parachute operations have yielded a raft of future political geniuses.”

What’s also interesting is how most of the parachuted candidates owe their sudden success to the NEC and Starmer’s close advisers, rather than Starmer himself. The Labour leader seems to have had little involvement apart from pushing for two Labour figures from his own Camden council. One of them, council leader Georgia Gould, is the daughter of the late Blair adviser Philip Gould and is already being tipped as a likely future cabinet minister. The other, Abdul Hai, was expected to be gifted Stratford and Bow — but amazingly, yesterday morning, McSweeney challenged Starmer by pushing instead for Uma Kumaran, a former adviser to the leader. Seen in this light, one begins to wonder how much Starmer really controls his own party — or, for that matter, how much power his advisers wield behind the scenes. Judging by the past few days, it doesn’t augur well.

Nor does this week’s operation offer an encouraging prequel to how a future Starmer government might behave. Having suddenly got the power to impose their favoured candidates, his senior advisers are handing out seats to their factional friends and NEC cronies. Indeed, they seem to be behaving like a bunch of schoolboys who have broken into the school tuck-shop and are now gorging themselves sick. And as they do, one suspects they have missed a delicious twist, 27 years on, to the aforementioned Dudley North story.

In 2022, the Labour Party in Lincoln chose as their candidate one Hamish Falconer, whose public-school education had barred his father from becoming a Labour MP. Despite this Achilles’s heel, Hamish, whose record at the Foreign Office suggests he’s brimming with talent, spent six months courting party members in the constituency. The result? He bucked the trend in selection by defeating his local rival by a margin of five-to-one. Proof, if we needed it, that often a parachute isn’t required.


Michael Crick is a broadcaster and writer whose most recent book is One Party After Another: The Disruptive Life of Nigel Farage (Simon & Schuster). His Selections Twitter feed is @Tomorrow’sMPs

MichaelLCrick

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David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 month ago
Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago

Starmer is preparing for government. He has to purge as many socialists as possible from the parliamentary party. No good will come from having them around.

R Wright
R Wright
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

How Stalin-esque.

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  R Wright

I think only those on the Left can be tarred with being “Stalin-esque”. I don’t think the insult works against a Centrist.

D Glover
D Glover
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

When I read your OP I thought it was sarcasm. Your reply to R Wright makes me think you were serious. Do you really think Starmer is not a lefty underneath?

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
1 month ago
Reply to  D Glover

So why is he purging the ‘lefties’ then? Clearly there are degrees of leftness, just as there are on the right.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
1 month ago
Reply to  D Glover

No, Starmer is not a leftie. He is a pragmatist above all, and everything he has done is geared towards making Labour electable after 14 years in the wilderness. If he has any strong political leanings at all, they will be centrist.

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Exactly, and the thing that has stopped it getting elected is its Lefties.

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  D Glover

I am worried that he is a Lefty underneath, yes. However, he has been doing his best to show the world that he isn’t (including purging the Lefties from the Labour Party).

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

Starmer isn’t really a centrist but he knows that the only elected Labour Prime minister since the 70’s, Tony Blair, was.

Addie Shog
Addie Shog
1 month ago
Reply to  R Wright

“Stalin-esque”? Oh, please grow up. I don’t think Starmer plans to execute millions of his political opponents.

R Wright
R Wright
1 month ago
Reply to  Addie Shog

Stalin purged the socialist Mensheviks and SRs long before he started executing communists.

Xaven Taner
Xaven Taner
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

Blair managed with back benches full of socialists, including Corbyn, and for his first six years a certain George Galloway. What Starmer is doing is an admission of deep seated weakness.

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  Xaven Taner

Better that than letting the socialists have an input into policy. Anyway, if Starmer want’s a socialist view on policy, he only has to ask Ed Miliband.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

The Labour Party remind me of the Dawn and Pete characters in Gavin and Stacy. Constantly having vicious rows in front of everyone but never getting divorced.  It’s painful!  If we had PR, Labour could get the divorce between it’s left and right wings that it so obviously needs and each side would be free to set out its stall honestly. Then let the votes fall where they will. 
Yes I know the downsides of PR. There isn’t a perfect system.  But looking at the state of FPTP countries (UK, Canada and US), I know which kind of mess I’d prefer.  And personally, I’d love to go into the voting booth and be able to vote for what I really want – as STV would allow me. 

nadnadnerb
nadnadnerb
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

You can have a look at Scotland with its unaccountable and mostly unidentifiable PR “list” MSPs for a comparison.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  nadnadnerb

I don’t like the Additonal Member System that they have in Scotland although I’d take that over FPTP if necessary. STV is the best option because it keeps each MP anchored to a particular geographical constituency. It also keeps them accountable – way more than FPTP does: standing in a safe seat for any particular party doesn’t mean the public who support that party have to vote for you, even if you’re the sitting MP. They have the option to choose a different candidate in the same party.  

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The MMP in NZ I think is a good system. You have 2 votes, one for you local MP and one for the party you wish to be in government. Around 2/3 of seats in parliament represent areas and are won on a FPTP basis, then the other 1/3 are awarded to ensure that each party has the total number of MPs in parliament that closely matches their overall vote share.
It ensures you have a both a local MP and parliament doesn’t see the distortions that we see in Westminster

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Got them Ardern. That went well.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  James Kirk

No better or worse than any other leader in charge at the time to be honest. In Christchurch I spent less time in lockdown than my family did in England or mates in Australia

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago
Reply to  nadnadnerb

Yes but be fair, they managed to select (had foisted on them) the worst PR system imaginable – the D-Hondt system – much lived by hey you guessed it, the EU. With any proper PR the SNP would have been winnowed out years ago

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Yes, there isn’t a perfect system, but if there is a perfect system, PR is as far from it as it’s possible to get, while remaining a democracy.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

I don’t understand you. The elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly use STV because in NI, if the electorate don’t believe the governing chamber is a true representation of them, they won’t consent to be governed. When democracy really matters you use STV.

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I can’t speak for the Norther Irish, but I will observe that the Northern Ireland Assembly has hardly shown itself to be a fully functioning example of a textbook democracy over the years.

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

It’s not so terrible. It is more prone to lead to coalitions, for good or ill. It’s definitely good at inciting public interest when it comes to elections.
But ultimately, people get used to the system they have. Installing PR in the UK would lead to a terrible mess for a couple of decades – and installing FPTP in Ireland would do just the same.

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  Gerry Quinn

Coalitions are in my view not generally a good thing.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Are you sure? Europe is already looking decidedly right of centre right in places (Sweden, Holland for example) with it seems much more to come. But maybe that’s what you’re after…

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

What I’m after is democracy because the only alternative is authoritarianism. I believe that in the long run Europe is in less danger of caving to full-blown authoritarianism than the UK is, precisely because they have more responsive voting systems. I don’t care whether the authoritarianism calls itself left wing or right wing. It’s all the same in the end. The real choice is between liberty and authoritarianism. It’s the elites that need to be kept on a short leash in my opinion. It sounds like you think the ordinary people should be on a on a short leash. All I can say is, we must agree to disagree on that.  

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Well if you *really* want proper democracy (aka Polity) then you need to define a mechanism for ensuring that equality of voice is matched with equality of contribution.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

I don’t think so.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

No, I agree with you if that’s allowed.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

As a socialist himself apparently perhaps he can self-purge?

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Well, he has done a lot of hard work to convince everyone that he is not a socialist. Can he be trusted?

charlie martell
charlie martell
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

Apart from declaring openly that he IS in fact a socialist.
As for trust, Starmer has made more 180 degree turns than any poilitician in living memory, and that is before he is confronted with the harsh realities of government.

D Glover
D Glover
1 month ago

When Sir Keir was campaigning to be Labour leader one of his stated policies was to give the vote to EU nationals who had settled status in the UK. He’s just repudiated that policy.
You have to admire his ability to execute a U-turn. A weasel couldn’t do better.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago
Reply to  Robbie K

An enema of the people…

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Gold!

charlie martell
charlie martell
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

But he claims he is a socialist himself. And of course, if you go by what he used to say before he had to worry about getting votes, you can be sure he is.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

Starmer is a socialist – he’s been busy telling everyone who’d listen just that. What we’re seeing is merely Labour’s version of the Judean People’s Front vs the People’s Front of Judea. They’re all as bad as each other.
Splitters!

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago

Of course i know the score, but if ever there was evidence to demonstrate why we’re no longer a representative democracy, this is it.

The idea of these apparachiks giving the slighest damn about their constituents is laughable. Is it any wonder, given the way this process has become corrupted, that goverance is now perceived to be something we’re subjected to rather than participants in. A process which starts with corruption sows the seeds of its own failure, and that’s precisely where we stand.

Andrew R
Andrew R
1 month ago

Welsh Labour working towards their closed lists goal at The Senedd.

https://nation.cymru/news/labour-mss-bribed-to-back-controversial-closed-list-system/

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Dismal. Thx for the link.

alan bennett
alan bennett
1 month ago

So in essence, Starmer is a puppet just like Biden.

A D Kent
A D Kent
1 month ago

Why anyone believes a word Sir Starmer says about anything these days is completely beyond me.

Interesting though how all this duplicity is portrayed as merely ‘clinical’ – I’m old enough to remember when Labour leaders were being hysterically smeared as ‘Stalinist’ for nothing even close to what Starmer has done – you only have to be about 16 to remember this by the way. Just another day of reporting by very sensible people in our very sensible media I suppose.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 month ago

“Party leaders should have some scope to get top talent into the Commons, because it’s vital that governments are formed from the best and the brightest… And it’s an unfortunate fact that some extremely able people do not get through selection processes… If that’s the case, on rare occasions the suspension of local party democracy can be justified.”

If that’s true for my MP, it is true of Westminster. It’s only degrees of difference deleting “party” or “local party” from that paragraph. We are on a slippery slope if those we rely on to defend democracy, journalists like Crick, are now convinced it’s OK to suspend parts of it for some ill defined expediency. Let’s be clear, there is no objective measure of “top talent” so this justification for the suspension of democracy is specious.

Does Crick realise how profoundly broken is our constitutional party political representative democracy? The local party political representative candidates for each constituency are not representative if they’re chosen by a few cliques in North London. If the candidates aren’t representative of a constituency, then the voters aren’t given a representative choice. That means we no longer live in a party political representative democracy. We live in a chumocracy where the choice of representative we are given is controlled by a tiny number of people.

The effect is chilling. It doesn’t just affect those constituencies with chums parachuted in. Every other constituency candidate is aware they too can easily be replaced by a chum. Every canddiate is there by favour. So everyone must stick with the chums. The plurality of our democracy, the very lifeblood of democracy, is drained away. What’s left is a lifeless corpse of democracy.

These aren’t the actions of “top talent”. These are the actions of dimwitted self promoting vultures picking over the bones of our democracy.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

Starmer has to turn the Labour Party from an agglomeration of interest groups, mainly having emerged out of student politics, and dominated by feminism, into a party able to govern without constantly being dragged into internal petty squabbles over trivia.

My concern was always that he would not be ruthless enough – so this is a good sign. I’m not optimistic yet, but this had to be a step on the way. There is, after all, a country to fix!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Shouldn’t you be in another party, a centre right one?

Oh,you are…

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 month ago

One of the ‘benefits’ of Rishi Sunak’s surprise date for the General Election may be that Labour have had to condense their manoeuvres into a shorter and more noticeable timeframe than expected.
As ‘consumers of democracy’ perhaps we should decline centrally selected candidates unless we are persuaded they are individually a good candidate. But for now that would result in slim pickings.

Paul Smith
Paul Smith
1 month ago

Whether this is due to Starmer or some inner cabal, they’re just engaged in a pointless attempt to move the party to a political centre ground that no longer exists.

charlie martell
charlie martell
1 month ago

It’s pretty much the same with the Tories.
When David Frost can’t get a hearing, mostly because he is an actual Conservative, you know that the HOC is becoming a giant splodge of middle manager types, good for little else but racking up salaries which would mostly be beyond them in the real world, expenses and pensions.
And, if the idea of this is to get “talent” in, how in the name of all God’s work, can David Lammy and Angela Rayner, both as thick as a castle wall, be in senior positions?

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago

Don’t flatter Lammy – at least a thick castle wall keeps out the invaders.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Or attracts tourists of later generations.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 month ago

As thick as a castle wall, I like that. “As dumb as a box of hair” is my go-to phrase there. Or the time-honoured “thick as two short planks”.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Dimmer than a dead glow-worm

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
1 month ago

Lammy’s, crazy as a box of frogs. How can someone so daft have obtained a law degree. Oh wait, Diane Abbot did too. But Lammy is worse, because he’ll say anything to get elected, just like Starmer. Now I write this, I see there’s a theme emerging: lawyers know how to twist reality to get the results they want.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 month ago

The NEC has a right-leaning faction! Who knew?

Charles Levett-Scrivener
Charles Levett-Scrivener
1 month ago

A typo: ” both social advisers”
Special advisers?

j watson
j watson
1 month ago

Interestingly I don’t remember remember many on the Right grumbling about Bojo kicking a number of Remain supporters out of the Tory Party after they’d be in it years. I suspect they’d contend the ends outweighed the means.
Politics can be rough and few successful haven’t shown a ruthless streak. Nobody wants a 5th column if they can avoid it. If you want to get sh*t done then just perhaps…
And the British public will decide who’s in power and which manifesto they supported. Now where have we heard this argument before?

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
1 month ago

Hmm, not aged to well, this article, has it?
Sir Kneel has shown his toughness. She’ll be standing, alongside gobby Ange.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago

Let me be honest – the faces of these women are not disfigured by intellect

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago

So…Hamish Falconer…Nepo-baby with talent? Yeh, right…

Harry Child
Harry Child
1 month ago

Since this article was posted, Starmer has come out and said that Abbott can stand as a Labour MP. His so called ruthlessness is becoming that of a jelly.

Alice Devitt
Alice Devitt
1 month ago

Cut out of the loop Michael?-it shows. Having written about Militant, he is now supporting its decedents. Someone who judges politics by the standard of a Oxford Union speech, loves a ‘colourful’ character, the narcissists who meant 75 per cent of the time Lab out, deemed unfit to govern.Trust me, many of the outstanding parliamentarians often far from popular with real voters. Toxic comments and NEVER seen actually doing the job of sorting dull mundane things like crime and the bins. no IRA, Hamas etc came first. Rarely seen in their constituencies in over thirty years. Takes for granted they will win as can weigh the votes. What the Guardian sees as carrying on the radical spirit of T Benn etc, not that they will ever. ever need a food bank, really id destructive. It went so well in 2019 didn’t it?
Wait and see, I hope everyone of these vandals are chucked out. Starmer knows the rule book, Momentum so lazy, having bop in a half empty tent at The World Transformed, forgot to have a read. Unlike another failed Labour politician in Kinnock, who railed at D Hatton at the seaside conference(superb speech, no doubt Michael loves, he id a fine parliamentarian!!!), go forward a bit-GE 1987> Landslide for Mrs T, ..Ermms, great tingles down the spine, pity about the vote. Starmer in ten minutes has made them electable. OK, no great speeches, does not play ball with jurnos who do not help, but it seems to be working…27 points ahead! Me thinks that’s being in control, esp as hard left, those who hate NATO and think Mao had his reasons and always aided by naive idiot soft left who think cuddling up with political anacondas can work, about to be swamped. F the great speech makers, plenty of them as Lab get losing.
AND..the whole ‘Keith’ thing, telling Wes to quote ‘get out the Battenberg dearie’ by landed gentry members of Just Stop Oil’ Did not get to Oxbridge, listen in on the Oxford Union-sneering contempt for WC MP’s. Always there. There are more genuinely WC in the Shadow Cabinet than since 1924 and McDonald…can’t have that Michael can we? Not the right sort of people.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Alice Devitt

“having bop in a half empty tent at The World Transformed”

The first one TWT( day Corbyn was anointed) at Liverpool at The Blackie: there were about 600 at the evening party, including many TV political presenters, Journo’s, etc, shame that it was basically ‘London Identity Politics’ transferred to Liverpool, oh and the large amount of money the party raised went to refugee womans group, this is in a city with rea; poverty, etc: they could at least gave half to The Blackie, which incidentally is a genuine multi-cultural enterprise of the ciitizens of the City, all of them.
It was incredibly well organised though

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
1 month ago
Reply to  Alice Devitt

Upvoted for incomprehensibility and fire. [To be fair, I’d probably get the references better if I were from the UK.]

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 month ago

I don’t count clowns, children, sports commentators and BBC comedians as representatives of democracy. Socialists by definition are incapable of living and let live. Children; forgot what the playground was like? Clowns and comedians: have a script. If they’re not funny they’re out of work, not there for five years. And, Gary Lineker who clearly has a favourite team..

John Dewhirst
John Dewhirst
1 month ago

The Labour purge will leave us with an abundance of SPADs and other pious advisers with no real world experience but lots of opinions. They all believe they know best and get their feedback from the metropolitan bubble. This new government is going to be like no other but we can’t say that we didn’t see it coming. When will the electorate realise what is at stake?

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
1 month ago

This article makes a lot of fuss over Labour’s actions re the selection of MP candidates, whilst conveniently forgetting that Boris Johnson was just as ruthless, insisting that all Tory MPs must support Brexit and forcing out those who supported Remain and/or were One Nation Tories. And we were left with the dregs to take up ministerial positions with predictably dire results in terms of even basic competence, let alone vision and intellect.
The fact is that all party leaders want to push through Parliament their chosen policies, and they can’t achieve that if faced with constant carping and obstructions from their own MPs. It’s unfortunate that those who are prepared to be loyal come what may, aren’t always the brightest and the best.
Voters also have to be taken into account, as they rarely favour a political party that is being fought over by different factions – especially during a general election campaign. It’s a most unprofessional look.
It’s not uncommon in leaders in any sphere of life – industry, finance, Armed Forces and the public sector to expect their managers to provide a united front to their staff, clients and the public.