Shadow Cabinet ranking – Burnham reigns supreme

April 11, 2012 11:47 am

Andy Burnham reigns supreme at the top of the shadow cabinet league table for the third successive month. The NHS Reform Bill may now be the NHS Reform Act, but that doesn’t seem to have dented his popularity as far as LabourList readers are concerned. Elsewhere at the top there has been some minor movement, but it’s a shuffling of the most popular names, rather than any fundamental change in fortunes. Down at the bottom, Liam Byrne is still rooted to the bottom of the table – he may be leaving the shadow cabinet soon of course. Meanwhile Caroline Flint has shot up 7 places in the table – perhaps off the back of her work campaigning in the South East.

  1. Andy Burnham (-)
  2. Yvette Cooper (Up 1)
  3. Chuka Umunna (Up 2)
  4. Tom Watson (Down 2)
  5. Hilary Benn (Down 1)
  6. Ed Balls (-)
  7. Rachel Reeves (-)
  8. Douglas Alexander (-)
  9. Jim Murphy (Up 2)
  10. Harriet Harman (Down 1)
  11. Angela Eagle (Up 1)
  12. Emily Thornberry (Down 2)
  13. Maria Eagle (Up 3)
  14. Liz Kendall (Up 1)
  15. Sadiq Khan (Down 1)
  16. Stephen Twigg (Up 2)
  17. Caroline Flint (Up 7)
  18. Peter Hain (Down 5)
  19. Vernon Coaker (Down 2)
  20. Michael Dugher (Down 1)
  21. Mary Creagh (Up 1)
  22. Tessa Jowell (Down 2)
  23. Jon Trickett (Down 2)
  24. Rosie Winterton (Up 1)
  25. Margaret Curran (Down 2)
  26. Ivan Lewis (-)
  27. Liam Byrne (-)

656 people voted this month between April 5th and April 10th. Thanks to everyone who voted. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow when we’ll be announcing our March MP of the month.

  • AlanGiles

    Poor old Byrne – bottom again :-)

    • Jeff_Harvey

      Byrne, Bottom? He seems more of a Puck to me!

  • Montes5900

    The two most right wing/Blairite ultra MPs sitting last and second last. The wish of party members is clear No To New Labour! Turn Left now!

    • http://www.facebook.com/elliot.bidgood Elliot Bidgood

      Bit of a selective reading of the “wish of the party members.” Murphy & Alexander are reasonably high up, not to mention Burnham being number one: his populist “aspirational socialism” message in 2010 aside, Burnham is a staunch Blairite by most barometers, and yet he is still flying high. And though not Blairite, Yvette Cooper (Brownite New Labour) and Chuka Umunna (Blue Labour) aren’t exactly a “turn left”.

      • Montes5900

        Well I agree Burnham is right wing most of the time but the reason he’s top now is cos of his leftwing stance on the NHS, I admit cooper is really right wing. Chuka is a typical Brownite (more left than Blair)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

          Burnham was labelled a Blairite but he’s actually more of an old-style Labour social democrat – which places him well to the left of New Labour!

          • ThePurpleBooker

            He isn’t “old style” he is a Blairite (a bit like me). He is on the same page as John Reid, and is backed by Hazel Blears.

          • AlanGiles

            Backed by the lady who “rocked the boat” and was up to her neck in it in the expenses scandal – a strong recommendation indeed!

          • treborc

            Miliband I’m not red, “where are you then”, I’m in the middle not to the left not to the right.

            People who are scared of being socialist tend to be seen as Tories, or liberals and Miliband inability to be either labour or New labour will see the party suffer badly.

            he has to come out attacking the Tories, not dam well agreeing with it.

            His attack on the NHS sorry is inability to pull the public toward his view what ever that is, shows a bloke who is not leadership ability.

            For god sake people jump up and down when he wins at PMQs, or loses his temper.

            Burnhams can speak, he has a view, is he new labour he was , but then again so were 75% of the rest.

            The Tories will walk the next election unless Miliband gets off the fence

             

          • Jeff_Harvey

            When the Book started boasting about Hazel Blears “backing” Andy Burnham I knew the Book MUST be a joker. I doubt Mr. Burnham would be as amused by the jest as I was. Talk about being damned by faint praise.

          • Alexwilliamz

            She was one of the MPs who supported his nomination.

          • Jeff_Harvey

            I know about Ms. Blears affiliation. My real point was to query whether support from such a discredited source was something worthy of mention. Considering Hazel’s complete lack of moral (and every other imaginable type of) authority, is a thumb’s up from diminutive Blears a help or a hindrance? If I was Andy Burnham I’d want Blears’ support about as much as a truss!  

          • Redshift

            I think comparing him to John Reid and Hazel Blears is a massive insult. 

          • Alexwilliamz

            The is a tradition within the Labour party that has existed long before TB. Not that Blairism is any kind of coherent ism andyway. Blairism in terms of what you could loosely call ideology is form the soc dem side of the party. It also seems to encapsulate for many more of a style; the heavy use of media massaging, trying to control the new agenda etc etc. Personally I think it ludicrous to use lables like Blairite, or Brownite, since these are really factional labels and have come to represent an almost playground level of squablling rather than any deep political positions. Let’s move on.

          • ThePurpleBooker

            He is New Labour, not its left and not to it’s right.

        • ThePurpleBooker

          Chuka Ummuna is in the Blue Labour camp with many in the party.

          • treborc1

            God here we go again colour coding people, it’s like saying Middle class, hard working.

            Blue labour was an idea which failed to take off and is now basically only seen as anything by the authors.

        • Chilbaldi

          “really right wing” – is that not UKIP?

      • Redshift

        I think it is fair to say that Burnham has more been loyal to the party leader at all times rather than a Blairite. I think his own beliefs are probably near the centre of our party.

        I think the distinctive thing about Byrne and Ivan Lewis is that they are Blairite AND fucking useless. Alexander, Murphy, Twigg, etc have redeeming features despite their political persuasion BUT they’d rank higher if they weren’t Blairites.

        • AlanGiles

          I am genuinely surprised anyone would want to be a “Blairite” these days, judging by his appearance on radio 4′s World At One yesterday, he sounds camper than ever, and he is obviously exhibiting early signs of dementia: He had “no recollection” of the Belhadj rendition case, he said that “cooperation with the Gadaffi regime had been important” and that he “was not aware of any occassion when his government breached it’s opposition to rendition”

          So either he is losing his memory or he is lying (again). Never mind – he did win 3 elections! :-)

          • Chilbaldi

            yeah, who wouldn’t want to win three elections, or at least learn what won them.

          • AlanGiles

            He is history now, and each time he comes out of the woodwork to do a radio interview he just sounds ever more shifty, more incredible and even more deluded. Does anybody really believe it when he says he had no idea about rendition?.

            Apart from a few old ex-party managers and those who are blinded by hero-worship he is seen frankly as a greedy conceited old liar. he said “I am a ;pretty straightforward kind of guy” and everybody sniggered – that was years ago. If he said it today he would earn outright derision.

          • Jeff_Harvey

            Blair modelled himself on his surrogate big brother and hero Bill “Sticky Willy” Clinton.

            While Clinton was admittedly not the most scrupulously honest President America has ever elected he was more honest and orders of magnitude more competent than his moronic successor George W. Bush, who made a patsy of Blair far more than Clinton ever did.

            Still, at least Blair didn’t have sex with interns!

            (As far as we know.)

            Which must be a relief for Cherie I’m sure.

            (And for Tony Blair’s interns even more so.)

          • treborc1

             As far as you know he did not have any sex with interns

          • Chilbaldi

            Oh yeah… They are all at it these hugely successful policians who turn around the fortunes of the ailing parties and ensure they do not become extinct…. having sex with interns left right and centre.

          • treborc1

             OK just secretaries then over the table with a pie in hand door wide open, a bit fat naked ass  bouncing up and down and then you have Prescott

          • Alexwilliamz

            Can this post be removed, it is far to graphic and creates a most unencessery mental picture.

          • Alexwilliamz

            ‘turn around fortunes of ailing parties’ I would take offence at that. Sure Tony hit the right notes at the time, but Labour’s fortunes were turned around by the efforts of many people not just one. You could also make the case that he failed to create a party legacy as proven by the lack of credible politicians who joined the Labour benches after 1997.

          • Redshift

            Blair didn’t win 3 elections. A donkey in a red rosette could have won in 1997 and by 2005 he was costing us votes.

          • Chilbaldi

             More self-loathing nonsense from the lunatic fringe of the party.

          • http://twitter.com/gonzozzz dave stone

            I thought Blair’s add-on bit rather strange – when he assured the security services of the the support of the whole country when undertaking difficult tasks – was this, I wondered, Blair fishing for support: I support/supported you and now, in my moment of need, I’d like you to support me?

  • JNB

    Burnham is very good in many ways. He has a terrible blind spot on civil liberties, though, which certainly put me off in the leadership election of 2010.

    • treborc

       looking at the way Ed is dealing with things right now, having seen Ed speak at PMQs and then lose his temper for a period at the Budget, it’s not enough, Labour needs somebody who can respond to an argument not wait for a script writer, or need to know what the polls say or the comment section of the media.

      I think Burnham as the ability to speak to people, and would be able to think  on his feet, because right now Miliband is not damaging the Tories enough, when they are so open to attack.

      • Alexwilliamz

        When I was tele canvassing for Burnham one of the common comments against him, was that he was too Northen, or intentionally Northen. I kid you not. As if he was making something of not being from the South East. The other response of course was they were going for one of the Milibands with the reaons that they thought they looked more like leaders?? It seems as always perception is everything, and sometimes you just have to wait for your moment.

        • treborc1

          Basically what we said about Brown lets wait a moment..

        • Redshift

          The fact he sounds like he is from an actual place rather than pumped out of an academic institution is what I think gives him a common touch. If Ed Miliband sounded less wanky, his personal polling would be far better.

        • Chilbaldi

           I’ve been saying for a while now that Burnham is the answer.

          Normal? Check.

          Good communicator? Check.

          Sound politics, not part of any political bandwagon? Check.

          Not Blue Labour? Check.

          He could be the future. He was a rabbit in headlights at the last leadership election, it was far too soon for him, but since them he has grown into frontline politics quite considerably and looks very much the leader.

          • AlanGiles

            Andy Burnham certainly has two things in his favour – he has a classless accent and would therefore not be seen as just another Oxbridge clone and also he sounds as if he means what he says, and is not just reading it off an autocue. He certainly comes over as a warmer personality, and  these things are so important these days

          • Daniel Speight

             Alan don’t  you really mean he is an Oxbridge clone but with a scouse accent?

          • Redshift

            He really doesn’t have a scouse accent. More Lancashire really…

          • Daniel Speight

             I will stand corrected;-)

          • treborc1

             Who cares he sounds like a Politician who might just have something to dam say, not a robot that needs a speech writer and spin doctors

          • AlanGiles

            Daniel,  I suppose what I mean is that he doesn’t sound so arty-crafty as the Dear Leader and some of his friends, and I think the accent – any accent, will probably be more appealing (or less off-putting) as some of the “plum-in-the-mouth brigade”)

  • Brumanuensis

    John Healey was good man and would have made a fine Health Secretary, but as Shadow Health Secretary he was far too meek. Burnham has been fabulous; we needed him in there from the word go, to be honest.

  • Jeff_Harvey

    It’s better to Byrne out than to fade away…

    • AlanGiles

      Byrne and Lewis always fight it out for last place. I feel a harry Hill moment coming on:

      “I don’t like Byrne, but I don’t like Lewis either. But whose worse?

      there’s only one way to find out…….

      FIGHT!

      Perhaps if LB is as popular in Birmingham as he is on LL he won’t get the consolation prize of Mayor :-)

      • treborc1

        He’d make a hell of a mare, sorry mayor.

        • AlanGiles

          We will have to try to find him a nice stallion :-)

          • treborc1

             I think he has found one, he wants to know if she in heat  before he gets his tackle out. or of course step down as an Mp

      • Jeff_Harvey

        I have nothing against England’s second city but for the sake of the United Kingdom generally would hope that the Brummies would “take one for the team” and accept Liam Byrne as the official “Labour” Mayoral candidate before rejecting him at the ballot box. Birmingham’s brave sacrifice would be worth it were the House of Commons rid of Byrne as an MP.

        As far as mortal combat goes even Yvette Cooper could whip Byrne’s a*se!  

        • Dave Postles

           I’ve placed the order for the ‘Byrne for Brum’ badges.

          • Brumanuensis

            I’m trying to decide whether to vote for Simon or Byrne. Of course, no-one will be consulted about Sir Albert’s presence on the ticket…

          • ThePurpleBooker

            Sir Albert is backing Byrne (make sure you DO NOT vote for Gisela Stuart)!

          • AlanGiles

            “(make sure you DO NOT vote for Gisela Stuart)!”

            I hope you have all got that and intend obeying the Good Book (“thou shalt NOt support Ms S) -  don’t break the commandment otherwise he or she will squeam and squeam and squeam till they make themself sick :-)

  • ThePurpleBooker

    Liam Byrne should step down to fight for Mayor of Birmingham. He would be fantastic and his message on welfare reform has been brilliant following in the footsteps of Beveridge and putting responsibility as well as contribution at the heart of our welfare system. He’s put forward great policies, now he is going to be Mayor of Birmingham he can’t let someone like Rachel Reeves become shadow work and pensions secretary who is another great revisionist moderniser who can articulate more policies like a National Salary Insurance, Jobs Guarantee, free universal childcare, regional benefit caps, moving the “freebies” with pensions etc.
    Why the hell is Tom Watson still in the shadow cabinet. He is way too powerful, he has already failed as Election Coordinator, judging by Bradford West where he should know all this, he effectively said we should be consulting the trade unions on policy which is a foolish suggestion. He should be sacked and replaced by Jon Cruddas as Deputy Chairman and his Election Coordinator role should be given to Tristram Hunt, who could replace Michael Dugher as Shadow Minister without Portfolio.

    • AlanGiles

      “and his message on welfare reform has been brilliant ”

      The most stupid comment so far from Planet Purple Booker.

      Your enthusiasm for expenses fiddler Byrne makes you sound like a silly schoolgirl with a crush on a soap star

      • Jeff_Harvey

        Surely the Book is a satirist or similar. He reminds me of the character Franz Liebkind from the Mel Brooks comedy “The Producers”. Liebkind was a fanatical crypto-Nazi who wrote a musical called “Springtime for Hitler” to extol the virtues of Adolph Hitler and – “… don’t be stupid be a smarty come and join the…” – Nazi Party. Book is either bat-crap crazy or having a laugh. I suspect the latter. Or maybe the former! In which case he’s probably singing “Springtime for Liam and Birmingham” even as I type these words. What a human oddity. It takes allsorts to make a world I suppose.

        • AlanGiles

          We don’t half seem to get them on here Jeff, don’t we?. When it isn’t the Captain of Industry from the North Downs it’s the Book – was there a new moon last night?

          • Jeff_Harvey

            As far as welfare reform goes here’s a link to an article detailing some of the horror visited upon the sick by the inheritors of the Purnell/Cooper/Freud empire of blood and red rust:

            32 die a week after failing test for new incapacity benefit

            Shamefully it was the Labour Party which initiated this carnage and Byrne, given half a chance, would have accelerated the cull without a qualm and with a vengeance.

            Nice guy, eh?

          • Dave Postles

             http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/apr/10/charity-chief-quits-over-fit-for-work-test

          • Jeff_Harvey

            A sad and shameful state of affairs which has, literally, robbed men and women of their lives. How could any honourable man or woman remain a party to such a programme in good conscience? Ten years ago I would never have believed that ANY political party in the United Kingdom, not even the Conservatives themselves, would have been capable of visiting such casual, systemic cruelty on the disabled, sick and the needy.

            Now I KNOW that they ALL are.

            Which is the saddest thing of all.

            Whatever happened to the heroes?

          • AlanGiles

            No i wouldn’t have believed it either. To give her credit (whats wrong with me – sticking up for Sion Simon yesterday and now – Mrs T – at least realising that all the miners who lost their jobs and were unlikely to find others had either the foresight or compassion – the choice of word is yours – to put them on IB rather than Unemployment Benefit, so at least they were dpared the indignity of having to compete for non existant jobs.

            They say you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps and seeing “The Book’s big heros appear to be Byrne, Purnell and the ghastly Blears it says a lot about his own lack of integrity, frankly.

            Why doesn’t Ms Blears apply to go on Britains Got Talent, with her bimbo pal Flint and they could restart their tap-dancing careers – just about all they are fit for.

          • ThePurpleBooker

            I completely disagree with you, Alan, you have chatted the biggest amount of bollocks but that last paragraph was absolutely HILARIOUS, I’m cracking up! Priceless.

          • AlanGiles

            We must be in competition then to see who can talk the most “bollox”. Thinking that Byrne has been brilliant on welfare reform” seems especially sick, (didn’t you read the links Jeff and Dave gave?)  and your love of Purnell – pass the sickback Alice.

          • Peter L Carabine

            What utter nonsense you talk Caroline Flint talks for ordinary people and will attract a lot of voters especially women now drifting away from the coalition’s cull. When I see her on programs I think why is she not on more often.  She looks and talks true Labour not a young inexperienced Oxbridge clone ( sorry Caroline- sure you must have gone to a good uni).

          • Peter L Carabine

            Moreover I think Alan Giles comments are rather offensive for a Labour party Blog. 

          • AlanGiles

            Well you are entitled to your opinion Mr Carabine – have you seen some of the comments Tories leave on this blog? Or is your faux outrage only reserved  for left-wingers?

            Flint resigned from Brown’s government claiming she was being used as “window dressing” (perhaps to remove attention from her own expenses problems?) yet she wasn’t adverse to living up to that image. As Treborc said this was the woman who advocated that unemployed people should not be allowed to register on council house waiting lists unless they demonstrated they were “actively seeking work” – which all JSA claimants have to do anyway.

            She is just yet another vacuous career politician who would be perfectyly at home in the party opposite. Hope my  response isn’t too “offensive” for you?. If it is – tough.

          • treborc1

            Lot of men seem to have fallen for her New Labour charms, I lost mine when she told the sick the disabled the unemployed they should not have council houses

      • ThePurpleBooker

        Do yourself some justice Alan and stop writing utter nonsense which demonstrates your intense attraction and emotional attachment to your Trotskyist, reactionary Militant far-left politics which is about 40 years past its sell by date.
        We need to be going back to social insurance principles of the welfare state. Any true progressive would support that!

        • AlanGiles

          I suspect that you are somebody who frequently posts on the Independent site as “Blair Supporter” – the same schoolgirlish enthusiasm mixed with over-excited gibberish and hyperbole meant to be “insults”

          for the record I have never been a Trotskist nor a member of Militant.

          Neither have I had a childish and asinine desire to describe myself as “blue/purple/black/choose your own colour Labour. This sort of nonsnese is what will lose labour the 2015 election.

        • treborc1

          well New labour did, hence labour got into bed with Mansell Alyward who was sponsored by UNUM Provident, a well known American private health insurance group.

          In case you do not know Professor Mansell was with Purnell the master mind of the welfare reforms.

        • Alexwilliamz

          This is the polarised nonsense that is ruining politics. The idea that anyone who opposes an idea must therefore believe in the polar opposite. Its the same kind of mentality that the BBC employs when trying to provide ‘balanced’ coverage.

        • Redshift

          Anyone who has actually been unemployed for say 6 months in the past few years will tell you it is utterly ludicrous. Bizarre targets that force you to apply for jobs that are completely unsuitable (I was forced to apply for a job as a wedding planner), thrown between various charity and (increasingly) private sector providers, who do very little to actually help you find work – but make a profit when you eventually find work off your own back.  

          The only good reform of the past 20 years was the Future Jobs Fund. We need to bring that back and expand it first of all.

          Second of all we need to bring a lot of this stuff back in-house. It is too complicated, too unaccountable and too costly to keep contracted out increasing amounts of services to help people find work to useless private sector parasites, when it could be done in the job centre far more effectively if you simply increased the number of staff. 

          • Redshift

            In short, I want welfare reform but somehow I think the proposals I propose where the main focus is providing a service that effectively and efficiently helps people find work, is somewhat different to the proposals reached by all the parties at the moment where the only theme is clamping down on the tiny minority of benefit scroungers. Hopefully getting rid of Byrne will change that.

          • AlanGiles

            Exactly, people like “The Book” are talking out of their rectums. They are the type, if they lost their jobs, they probably have good connections (I bet PB is a good “networker” the way s/he rattles off  all these names) or would regard themselves as a special case who deserves extra special treatment.

          • treborc1

             You mean window cleaning when your in a wheelchair, my last one was b working as a Sky satellite installer, they said you have to give it ago, since Sky must find a way of letting you do the job, they did they could not stop laughing.

            Then painting skirting boards or the bottom of doors, then lets see ah yes security of a building site.

            I could go on all night, when you turn up in a wheelchair you know what they are going to say, but you have to go.
            Got to love it.

          • AlanGiles

            Not quite the same thing, but the rules were made so draconian for JSA that the Job Centres started taking notices of vacancies for lap-dancing clubs, and if somebody refused to attend an interview their JSA could be stopped as it was a breach of the rules.

            The biggest tragedy was that the Labour government started to treat people who were unemployed as though they needed to be punished (they hadn’t been punished enough by losing their jobs in the first place). They were expected to be cowed and humiliated to get their JSA money. Of course the Coalition has continued, simply by taking Labour’s friend David Freud, bribing him with a peerage and getting on with the bad work. 

        • Redshift

          Anyone who has actually been unemployed for say 6 months in the past few years will tell you it is utterly ludicrous. Bizarre targets that force you to apply for jobs that are completely unsuitable (I was forced to apply for a job as a wedding planner), thrown between various charity and (increasingly) private sector providers, who do very little to actually help you find work – but make a profit when you eventually find work off your own back.  

          The only good reform of the past 20 years was the Future Jobs Fund. We need to bring that back and expand it first of all.

          Second of all we need to bring a lot of this stuff back in-house. It is too complicated, too unaccountable and too costly to keep contracted out increasing amounts of services to help people find work to useless private sector parasites, when it could be done in the job centre far more effectively if you simply increased the number of staff. 

    • Dave Postles

       ThePurpleBookie
      I’ll have 50p each-way on ‘Laughing Boy’.
      Thanks.

    • Alexwilliamz

      Thought it said ‘National Slavery Insurance’ when I first read this. Otherwise a generally depressing read, although there are of course a smattering of good ideas. However the over the top praise for Byrne in the face of his dire polling suggests either PB is deluded or Byrne is incompetent in communicating his brilliance. I’d be interested to know on what grounds Mr Hunt should be awarded Elcetion Coordinator?

      • Daniel Speight

         Alex, Tristram (have I got the correct number of ‘r’s and ‘t’s in that) Hunt should  obviously be promoted. After all he’s a good friend of Mandelson and he’s been on TV. What more do you want?

  • treborc1

    Well said, that should ensure the Tories win for the next three terms.

  • treborc1

    To be honest none of them look like they would be able to win Labour an election.

  • Peter L Carabine

    Why do we hear so little from Stephen Twigg  who by the way I only realised recently is the education shadow minister; try stopping people and ask them who talks on education for Labour? . Given the usual Easter parade of teachers complaining about Gove you would have thought we would have seen him  trip round the studios and do some 
    ranting about Gove too ( and I am not arguing we should be the teachers’s pet). 

    Incidently like on  the economy the clever Eton Tory boys are claiming we have  left the English secondary schools in a real right mess what with too many failing proper  GCSEs and “grade inflation”  at A level. I think we need to remind the electorate of all the things we did for education including getting more kids to a higher level than ever before. In sum we are being too soft with the Tories on what is being planned and what is being removed ( e.g. university places  this summer being reduced 10% I believe) . So much for social mobility. Mr Gove , the radical right winger is going at the rate of knots. Has  Labour meanwhile fallen asleep like an old dog? 

    • AlanGiles

      ” Has Labour meanwhile fallen asleep like an old dog? ”

      Oi, Pete – isn’t that “rather offensive for a Labour blog”?

      Hoist by your own petard old man! :-)

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