Subscribers to our morning email get the best of LabourList – including the Media and blog round up – every weekday morning. If you were a subscriber you would have already received this in your inbox. You can sign up here.
Eric Joyce threatens Falkirk by-election over “entryism” concerns
“Labour could face a potentially damaging by-election in Falkirk unless it sorts out the controversies and confusions that have surrounded its selection process, party leaders were warned last night. Eric Joyce, the sitting MP, said that he was ready to stand down immediately and force a snap poll in the Westminster seat unless there was an end to problems over Labour’s selection process. Mr Joyce is particularly concerned about claims of trade union “entryism” — the term used to describe the introduction of new members in the hope of swinging a selection process towards a favoured candidate. Labour decided that it needed a new candidate to stand in Falkirk after Mr Joyce, who won the seat for Labour in 2010, was convicted of assault last year. Mr Joyce has always insisted he would stay on as the Falkirk MP until the next election in 2015, despite being abandoned by the Labour Party. But he declared yesterday that he was prepared to trigger a snap poll unless Labour and the unions cleaned up the selection process. He said: “I intend to go all the way to the end of the term. However, this may change if I feel it is in the Labour Party’s best interests to stop entryism by calling a by-election.” – Times(£)
Tories begin defecting to UKIP
“Local Conservative party campaigners, including the chairman of one constituency association, will this week pledge their support for Nigel Farage after one of David Cameron’s allies described grassroots Tories as “mad, swivel-eyed loons”. Mr Farage uses an advertisement in Monday’s Telegraph to urge Conservative voters to back Ukip. The “loons” description, he says, is “the ultimate insult” from a party leadership that has betrayed the trust of its own supporters. He writes in the advertisement: “Only an administration run by a bunch of college kids, none of whom have ever had a proper job in their lives, could so arrogantly write off their own supporters.”” – Telegraph