Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Local lobbying of Labour MPs stepped up as TUSC candidate selections get under way


Letters have gone out to challenge local Labour MP's and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates on what their position is on a range of key issues before a decision is made on whether the seat will be part of the TUSC 2015 election campaign. They were sent to;

  • Rob Flello - Stoke South
  • Tristrum Hunt - Stoke Central
  • Ruth Smeeth - Stoke North
  • Paul Farrelly - Newcastle
  • Trudie McGuinness - Staffordshire Moorlands
  • Kate Godfrey - Stafford
So far Trudie McGuinness, Rob Flello and Ruth Smeeth have replied and are prepared to meet a delegation of local trade unionists. We are hoping to set up dates as soon as possible.

Next Monday we will be deciding our first general election candidate locally and where he or she will be standing
Monday 1st December - 7.30pm
London Road Sports & Social, 279 London Rd, Stoke, ST4 5AG
We will also be deciding where our first batch of candidates will be standing
in the local council elections

TUSC's national steering committee has approved the first eight parliamentary candidates for next May's general election. 

They are; 
  • Former Labour MP and TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, who will stand in the Coventry North West constituency presently held by Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson, a multi-millionaire former businessman and one of the wealthiest MPs in the current parliament.
  • Glen Hart, previously the RMT's London Transport regional council's Black and Ethnic Minorities Officer, who will be contesting Croydon North
  • Sean Hoyle, a former member of the RMT's executive committee, standing in Portsmouth South. 
  • Standing in Portsmouth North constituency is Jon Woods, chair of the city council's UNISON branch and Portsmouth Trades Council.
  • The Tottenham constituency in north London will be contested for TUSC by Jenny Sutton, branch chair of the University College Union (UCU) at the local CONEL college. 
  • Scott Jones, a branch secretary of the shopworkers' union USDAW, is standing in Llanelli
  • The secretary of Swansea Trades Council, Ronnie Job, will contest Swansea West. 
  • Pete McLaren, a member of Left Unity's national council, will stand as a TUSC candidate for Rugby constituency.

Hackney TUSC meets one local MP but not the other 

In early October Hackney and Islington TUSC wrote to the current Labour MPs in Hackney, Diane Abbott and Meg Hillier, with a letter signed by over 40 local trade unionists. This led to a meeting on Monday 20 October with Diane Abbott where four main areas of policy were discussed with a delegation of local trade union and community activists.

Diane agreed with TUSC's call in the letter to reverse the anti-trade union laws. Regarding the reversal of all cuts in public services and benefits, and restoring central government funding of local councils to 2010 levels, Diane was in broad agreement but preferred her own form of words which she will communicate in writing to TUSC. She agreed with the demand to abolish zero hour contracts and the introduction of the London living wage of £8-80 as the minimum wage and, on the last policy area, she agreed with renationalisation of the railways but took a wait and see approach to bringing Royal Mail back into public ownership.

In contrast, the Labour MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, Meg Hillier, has to date not even replied to the TUSC letter. 
As a result of this process Hackney and Islington TUSC will be holding a meeting to discuss its election candidates on Tuesday 11th November, 7pm, at the Day-Mer Community Centre, Howard Road, N16 8PU.

The TUSC national steering committee has set an ambitious target for next year's elections The process is under way