Published and promoted by Paul Mercer, 58A Wards End, Loughborough LE11 3HB This site only uses cookies in order to collect anonymous usage data for Google Analytics and StatCounter. By using this site we assume that you are happy to receive cookies.
On 3 February, Loughborough Constituency Labour Party will select its prospective parliamentary candidate for the next General Election and a fierce battle has been taking place to secure the nomination. Loughborough is seen as one of those key target seats that Labour needs to win if it stands a chance of taking power. Following the disastrous campaign by Matthew O’Callaghan in 2015, and the failure of McDonald’s manager and local landlord Jewel Miah to unseat Nicky Morgan in 2017, Labour now needs to find an impressive individual to stand any chance of winning. The majority of Labour councillors in the town are regarded as moderate and have an affable relationship with their Conservative colleagues but the ordinary rank-and-file members of the CLP are far more left-wing. In 2015, while the Labour councillors were busy mustering support for Owen Smith, the CLP backed Corbyn. Left to their own devices, therefore, it seems likely that the membership would vote for the most left-wing candidate but, over the past few weeks, they have been the target of an intense public and private lobbying campaign by Nathan Oswin, an activist from Leicester, who has been portraying himself as the trade unionists’ natural choice of candidate. Although Oswin can claim to have worked for a union this was only for a short time as a press officer with Unison having previously been employed as a ‘customer services advisor’ with British Gas. His election literature avoids mentioning that this was largely a desk job and instead states that he was a “workplace rep”. Likewise, Oswin claims: “I’ve been working directly in our NHS, in this era of Tory cuts. I’ve seen the hard reality of those cuts on frontline services, and challenged NHS managers to work with the communities we’re there to serve, ensuring patient voices are heard about the services they rely on.” On his Twitter account Oswin describes himself as a “former… NHS worker”. The reality is that he was employed for four months as an ‘Interim Communications and Membership Officer’ with Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. And Oswin heads his LinkedIn entry: “Putting Labour Values Into Action in Loughborough “Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – The University of Hull” Which perhaps implies that he is a graduate of Hull University although he omits to say when he studied and his only qualification he admits to is a ‘certificate of higher education’ rather than an actual degree. Most of Oswin’s political activity has taken place in Leicester South where he angered the left-wingers after supporting Andy Burnham in opposition to Corbyn in 2015 even though the CLP took the same pro-Corbyn stance as Loughborough. He then backed the right-wing candidate, Dave Prentis, for the leadership of Unison. Oswin is also a close associate of Nottingham North MP Alex Norris who had previously called on Corbyn to resign. As one unimpressed Leicester left-winger noted: “Hence it is unsurprising that Oswin would draw political support from many fellow Blairites still residing in leadership positions within the Labour Party. Thus given that Oswin has spent a large part of his Labour career working in Nottingham it is fitting that he is ‘Humbled to receive an endorsement from Alex Norris – Member of Parliament for Nottingham North.’ In 2016, Norris while previously serving a councillor for Nottingham City Council – before his speedy promotion – was amongst 600-odd Labour councillors who signed an open letter demanding that Corbyn resign.” Norris was the only Labour MP who has endorsed Oswin on his website calling him a “powerful voice for Loughborough”. In all of Oswin’s literature and on his website he appears to avoid making any reference to Corbyn and instead states that he will “engage the whole Labour movement”. This failure to endorse their beloved leader is unlikely to impress the Left within Loughborough CLP. On paper, therefore, Oswin probably does not stand a great deal of chance given his lacklustre career to date and the perception amongst left-wingers that he is firmly on the right of the Labour Party. There were of course other contenders for the position. Sachin Patel, for instance, took a high-profile the Hastings by-election campaign and is an old boy of Loughborough Grammar School; Stuart Brady is a Nottingham-based barrister; and Alice Brennan not only lives and works locally but has stood in local elections. Unseating Nicky Morgan will be a tough job. Since she first ousted the sitting Labour MP in 2010 she has built up a lot of local support as an assiduous constituency MP; and as a high-profile former Cabinet minister she is seen by many as the person best placed to fight for the constituency’s interests. Although parachuting in an activist from Leicester may risk repeating the mistake they made with selecting ‘Melton Matthew’ in 2015, it does offer Labour the advantage of having a candidate who is unlikely to be seen as a tool of the hard-left in Loughborough and may receive the backing of the local councillors although noticeably none of them seems to have endorsed him.
Is Labour about to select another ‘Blairite’ candidate?
Published and promoted by Paul Mercer, 58A Wards End, Loughborough LE11 3HB
IS LABOUR ABOUT TO SELECT ANOTHER ‘BLAIRITE’ CANDIDATE?
On 3 February, Loughborough Constituency Labour Party will select its prospective parliamentary candidate for the next General Election and a fierce battle has been taking place to secure the nomination. Loughborough is seen as one of those key target seats that Labour needs to win if it stands a chance of taking power. Following the disastrous campaign by Matthew O’Callaghan in 2015, and the failure of McDonald’s manager and local landlord Jewel Miah to unseat Nicky Morgan in 2017, Labour now needs to find an impressive individual to stand any chance of winning. The majority of Labour councillors in the town are regarded as moderate and have an affable relationship with their Conservative colleagues but the ordinary rank-and-file members of the CLP are far more left-wing. In 2015, while the Labour councillors were busy mustering support for Owen Smith, the CLP backed Corbyn. Left to their own devices, therefore, it seems likely that the membership would vote for the most left-wing candidate but, over the past few weeks, they have been the target of an intense public and private lobbying campaign by Nathan Oswin, an activist from Leicester, who has been portraying himself as the trade unionists’ natural choice of candidate. Although Oswin can claim to have worked for a union this was only for a short time as a press officer with Unison having previously been employed as a ‘customer services advisor’ with British Gas. His election literature avoids mentioning that this was largely a desk job and instead states that he was a “workplace rep”. Likewise, Oswin claims: “I’ve been working directly in our NHS, in this era of Tory cuts. I’ve seen the hard reality of those cuts on frontline services, and challenged NHS managers to work with the communities we’re there to serve, ensuring patient voices are heard about the services they rely on.” On his Twitter account Oswin describes himself as a “former… NHS worker”. The reality is that he was employed for four months as an ‘Interim Communications and Membership Officer’ with Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. And Oswin heads his LinkedIn entry: “Putting Labour Values Into Action in Loughborough “Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – The University of Hull” Which perhaps implies that he is a graduate of Hull University although he omits to say when he studied and his only qualification he admits to is a ‘certificate of higher education’ rather than an actual degree. Most of Oswin’s political activity has taken place in Leicester South where he angered the left-wingers after supporting Andy Burnham in opposition to Corbyn in 2015 even though the CLP took the same pro-Corbyn stance as Loughborough. He then backed the right-wing candidate, Dave Prentis, for the leadership of Unison. Oswin is also a close associate of Nottingham North MP Alex Norris who had previously called on Corbyn to resign. As one unimpressed Leicester left-winger noted: “Hence it is unsurprising that Oswin would draw political support from many fellow Blairites still residing in leadership positions within the Labour Party. Thus given that Oswin has spent a large part of his Labour career working in Nottingham it is fitting that he is ‘Humbled to receive an endorsement from Alex Norris – Member of Parliament for Nottingham North.’ In 2016, Norris while previously serving a councillor for Nottingham City Council – before his speedy promotion – was amongst 600-odd Labour councillors who signed an open letter demanding that Corbyn resign.” Norris was the only Labour MP who has endorsed Oswin on his website calling him a “powerful voice for Loughborough”. In all of Oswin’s literature and on his website he appears to avoid making any reference to Corbyn and instead states that he will “engage the whole Labour movement”. This failure to endorse their beloved leader is unlikely to impress the Left within Loughborough CLP. On paper, therefore, Oswin probably does not stand a great deal of chance given his lacklustre career to date and the perception amongst left- wingers that he is firmly on the right of the Labour Party. There were of course other contenders for the position. Sachin Patel, for instance, took a high-profile the Hastings by-election campaign and is an old boy of Loughborough Grammar School; Stuart Brady is a Nottingham-based barrister; and Alice Brennan not only lives and works locally but has stood in local elections. Unseating Nicky Morgan will be a tough job. Since she first ousted the sitting Labour MP in 2010 she has built up a lot of local support as an assiduous constituency MP; and as a high-profile former Cabinet minister she is seen by many as the person best placed to fight for the constituency’s interests. Although parachuting in an activist from Leicester may risk repeating the mistake they made with selecting ‘Melton Matthew’ in 2015, it does offer Labour the advantage of having a candidate who is unlikely to be seen as a tool of the hard-left in Loughborough and may receive the backing of the local councillors although noticeably none of them seems to have endorsed him.
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