Brent results for the General Election

Residents have voted emphatically for Labour in Brent. We are represented by three MPs covering the Hampstead and Kilburn, Brent Central and Brent North constituencies.

Tulip Siddiq has increased her majority in Hampstead and Kilburn from 1,138 to 15,560. In Brent Central where my Council ward Dudden Hill is, Dawn Butler increased her vote share from 19,649 to 27,997 and in Brent North, Barry Gardiner increased his majority from 10,834 to 17,061.

The Conservatives had heavily targeted Brent North and Hampstead and Kilburn in particular but London in general saw Labour support rapidly increase across the capital. Personally I mostly campaigned in my own ward in Dudden Hill within Brent Central but did go to campaign sessions in Hampstead and Kilburn and Harrow West where Gareth Thomas not only retained his seat but increased his majority.

Sadly, we are still facing a Tory Government led by a weak leader but we will now have a strengthened and united opposition which will be incredibly important as we go through Brexit negotiations.

We were already knocking on doors before the snap election was called as we don’t just go on the doorstep during election time. Our returns in Dudden Hill when canvassing in the snap election period where showing that Dawn would increase her majority and in a worst case scenario would be no worse than the 2015 result under Ed Miliband’s leadership. A few conversations I had with voters during the campaign stick to my head.

In Dudden Hill, I met a firefighter who was so angry with the Government following the terror attacks. He lived in Kilburn but happened to be visiting his mother in my ward when I knocked on the door. He was furious at how much the emergency services were praised for their work in response to the attacks but when it comes to day to day activity they were treated like crap. They couldn’t even exercise or show their frustrations by being able to strike. He hadn’t had a pay rise in years and all his living costs had gone up. They felt undervalued day in day out and used as a political tool when they are needed.

Corbyn was mentioned as a reason people were not voting Labour but when we checked our returns, this was generally mentioned by people who had never voted for Labour and were anti-Labour in all elections.

Labour voters who mentioned dislike for Corbyn still said they would vote for Labour because of Party values. Corbyn was even mentioned as a reason for people voting for Labour, switching to Labour from Greens or Lib Dems and he gave a reason for people who had never voted before to vote for Labour for the first time in their lives.

Results in Brent Central and Brent North show the Conservative vote was fairly static in Brent and in terms of vote share there were slight decreases but a huge drop in their support in Hampstead and Kilburn.

It was truly remarkable to see people coming forward to vote at polling stations who had never been motivated to come out and exercise their democratic right before. As we showed in the London elections with Sadiq Khan’s victory, positive campaigning and the politics of hope definitely helped to deliver the unexpected general election result we are waking up to today.

 

Brent Liberal Democrat Meltdown

bird downThe Willesden and Brent Times is reporting that a whopping seven out of their 16 Councillors plan to step down at the next local elections – LINK

The Party locally looks to be in complete meltdown as the Independent reported  in their article titled “Lib Dems suffer plunge in party membership” (LINK) that the largest drop in membership of the Liberal Democrats came in Brent where they “saw 42 per cent of activists quit in the space of 12 months.”

The Times article also says that my Co Councillor of the Liberal Democrats, David Clues, who has been living in Brighton since December 2011 will not be putting himself up for election in 2014 in Brent. He still refuses to resign despite this scandal!

EXCLUSIVE: Teather Stupidises Brent Residents

In an extraordinary leaflet delivered to residents in Brent today, Brent Central Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather really insults the intelligence of the people of Brent.

The leaflet in newspaper format is produced by the Liberal Democrats and is called Brent News. The imprint is barely visible. On the front page of the leaflet, the main story attacks Mayor of London Boris Johnson for the proposed Police Station closures at Harlesden and Willesden. This is despite the fact that Sarah Teather voted to cut police numbers LINK 

In addition, it is claimed that “Brent News is fully behind Sarah’s campaign to save our stations”. Wait a minute….. a Sarah Teather publication is behind Sarah Teather’s campaign????

Does Sarah Teather think that people in Brent are stupid and would think this is a Brent non-party political neutral publication?

The Liberal Democrat published ‘Brent News’ also claims to have an exclusive interview with Sarah Teather MP.

Teather Brent News April 2013

This is from the same party that produced this LINK

Expect more gutter politics leaflets from the Brent Liberal Democrats over the next two years as they aim to hold on to their seats over the next two years.

 

Sarah Teather may have been absent for the Welfare Reform Bill vote, but her voting record on the Lords’ amendments tells a different story

Much has been made about Sarah Teather’s now public opposition against the Government’s flagship Welfare Reforms. It featured prominently in the Guardian as a lead story over the weekend where she claimed that what the Government, which she was a part of, was immoral and divisive – LINK.

When it came to the vote for the Welfare Reform Bill, the Brent Central MP was a notable absentee. However, her voting record on the amendments from the Lords paints a different picture.

She voted loyally with her Tory Liberal pals on the Welfare Reform Bill Clause 11 about Housing costs – LINK

3B Page 5, line 21, at end insert—

In relation to a dwelling of which the landlord is a local housing authority or a registered provider of social housing, and no suitable alternative accommodation (as defined in regulations to be made under this section, and provided by any such provider) is available, regulations under this section shall not permit the housing cost element of the universal credit to be less than the actual amount of the liability in a case where a household has no more than one spare bedroom, and—

(a) the claimant is subject to no work related requirements in accordance with the provisions of section 19;

(b) the claimant, or a child or a young person for whom either or both the claimants is responsible, is in receipt of disability living allowance, or personal independence payment, or attendance allowance or an increase of disablement pension where constant attendance is required; or

(c) the claimant is a war widow or widower; or

(d) the claimant routinely provides foster care placements.

(3B) In subsection (3A), “claimant” means a single claimant or joint claimant.””

Clause 68

26B Page 52, line 36, at end insert—

“( ) In relation to a dwelling of which the landlord is a local housing authority or a registered provider of social housing, and no suitable alternative accommodation (as defined in regulations to be made under this section, and provided by any such provider) is available, regulations under this Welfare Reform Bill 3 section shall not permit the AMHB to be less than the actual amount of the liability in a case where a household has no more than one spare bedroom, and—

(a) the claimant is subject to no work-related requirements in accordance with the provisions of section 11D of the Welfare Reform Act 2007;

(b) the claimant, their partner or a child or a young person for whom the claimant (or their partner) is responsible, is in receipt of disability living allowance, or personal independence payment, or attendance allowance or an increase of disablement pension where constant attendance is required;

(c) the claimant is a war widow or widower; or

(d) the claimant or their partner routinely provides foster care placements.”

Lords Amendment 3B and 26B that was voted down by Sarah Teather

In short, disabled people who have had their properties adapted or live in accessible accommodation face the prospect of being penalised for having an extra room. This will have a detrimental impact on people who have had their own property made accessible for their individual needs and could lead to people having to move and make their new property accessible! In addition, people who are wheelchair users and may need the extra room for storing equipment such as mobility scooters and standing frames also will be adversely affected by this Government’s damaging policy. This Lords amendment on the Welfare Reform Bill, which Sarah Teather voted down would have protected the most vulnerable in our society from what is being called the ‘Bedroom Tax.’

On reading the New Clause 2 on Childcare (Welfare Reform Bill (Programme) (No. 2)) she voted loyally with Government (LINK) She voted with Government on (Programme) (No. 2) Schedule 1 Universal credit: supplementary regulation-making powers (LINK) and also on (Programme) (No. 2) on Financial conditions (LINK)

Sarah Teather may have been absent for the Welfare Reform Bill vote, but her voting record on clauses and amendments tells a different story. To coin a phrase that London Assembly Member Tom Copley used, Teather’s crocodile tears on the Government’s welfare reforms is pure Lib-Demmery at its worst.

Sarah Teather a no show at Parliamentary debate on local hospitals

Maybe there was a rational reason why the Tory Liberal Minister could not attend the debate and vote on the NHS and local hospitals.

However, it is good that attention was paid to Central Middlesex Hospital in the debate.

Barry Gardiner MP for Brent North said,

Barry Gardiner: Thank you, Sir. I shall try to respect your advice.

In November 2011, the following announcement appeared on the Central Middlesex hospital website:

“A and E at Central Middx Hospital is temporarily closing overnight between 7 pm and 8 am starting from Monday 14 November 2011.

The urgent care centre next to A and E will remain open 24 hrs a day 7 days a week to treat patients with minor injuries and illness.

We are making this temporary change to ensure we continue to provide a safe service to patients during the winter months.”

In those three paragraphs, we hear twice over that that overnight closure is temporary, which gave minimal comfort to my constituents in Brent who used the facility. The overnight closure is indeed temporary. On 2 July, a consultation entitled “Shaping a healthier future” was launched in north-west London, and residents can submit their views until 8 October this year. The consultation, promoted by a transitional body called NHS North West London, aims to centralise and rationalise hospital services in the area. Each proposal outlined in the consultation includes the closure of the A and E at Central Middlesex—not overnight provision, but the 24-hour facility—for good.

The motion speaks of

“the growing gap between Ministers’ statements and what is happening in the NHS”.

I may have trouble agreeing with that, because it depends on which Minister and which statements. The Minister of State, Department for Education, the hon. Member for Brent Central (Sarah Teather), received an e-mail from me today advising her that, if called to speak, I would quote her in this evening’s debate. I wanted to do so, because she made the following three statements. First:

“The Tories would be a disaster for the NHS, they plan a part privatised service”.

The second quotation:

“These cuts will hit the poorest and most vulnerable hardest”.

The third quotation:

“The government must take urgent steps to safeguard our local NHS”.

Those three quotes date respectively from 2003, 2007 and 2007, when the hon. Lady was campaigning to keep open the accident and emergency centre at Central Middlesex hospital—campaigning for something which she, in her government, is now closing. No wonder her latest comment is:

“This flawed consultation, which does not allow residents to say that they want to save the A and E, is a kick in the teeth for all local people.”

I do not speak Parseltongue—I do not understand it—but I deplore the pretence of opposing a policy that you are pushing through in government. That is really disgraceful.

Even Tory MP for Ealing, Angie Bray MP spoke out against what is happening. She said,

Angie Bray: As my right hon. Friend is aware, the proposal is to downgrade four accident and emergency departments across London that are all right beside my constituency. Does he agree with my constituents that losing four accident and emergency departments is disproportionate and will mean a significant loss of service for them locally?

Lib Dem membership collapse in Brent Central

Membership for the Liberal Democrats in Brent has fallen by 42%. More than in any part of the country. This is in Education Minister Sarah Teather’s constituency.

Source: LabourList

Indeed we have seen the actual effects of this in terms of campaign methods. The Liberals are nowhere to be seen in wards such as Dudden Hill with even their elected ‘serving’ Councillor living in Brighton. Instead, with a slump in activists and members they seem to be using their increase in income from huge donors (her Register of Interests shows that £33,000 has come to Sarah Teather since she became a Government Minister) to pay for mass leaflet campaigns. Leaflets such as this – LINK.

They are even having to pay for deliverers. People I’ve spoken to in Dudden Hill who used to deliver for the Brent Liberal Democrats no longer want anything to do with them.

Liberal activists that are left in the Party may justify their existence in the Party by consoling in the belief that the actions of their Party are Tory inspired. However, this is simply not true. This article points out that the Tories in Parliament are more rebellious than the Liberals!

Brent Party votes in London 2012 elections

There is no doubt that London election polling is different to local or Parliamentary elections. Nonetheless it is a fantastic indicator for elections. For example, the London 2008 vote in Brent North and Barnhill in particular showed us that it was possible for Labour to make substantial gains in Brent at the expense of the Tories. We were proven right and Mikey Pavey’s landslide victory on May 3rd 2012 in the Brent Barnhill by-election was an amazing triumph for Brent Labour.

Here are the results in percentages Ward by Ward. I will comment below the graph on certain key results that may have wider implications.

Alperton

In a ward where the Liberals currently have two Councillors and Labour has one, Labour polled first by miles (63.4% of the vote!). The Tories even beat the Lib Dems who came third in this seat. Labour is on course to take all three Council seats in Alperton in 2014.

Barnhill

In a usually straight Labour Tory battle, the Tory vote collapsed. The Lib Dems didn’t field a candidate in the Barnhill by-election at all but in the Party vote they polled 9.1%. My suspicion is that many Liberals who were deserted by the Brent Council Lib Dem Group voted for the Conservative Party candidate in the Council vote.

Brondesbury Park

In a ward which currently has three Lib Dem Councillors, the Liberals were battered into fourth place behind Labour, the Tories and the Greens. Well done to the greens who won 11% of the vote there.

Dollis Hill

Perhaps this was due to there being a fresh Council by-election victory for the Liberals in Dollis Hill Ward, but it the Liberals polled higher in Dollis Hill than in any other ward in Brent with 14.1% of the vote. However, they were still beaten by Labour (56%) and the Tories (16%). It is interesting though that in the Ward where the Liberal vote now appears to be the strongest in Brent, they only sneaked in a by-election victory in March 2012 by 37 votes!

Dudden Hill 

My Ward. I share this ward with one Labour Councillor and a Lib Dem. In this ward, Labour polled 54.4% and the Tories 14.8%. This means there are less Tory votes for the Liberals to prize away, as is their usual tactic.

Kensal Green

The Liberals polled well here in the last Council and general election, but came a miserable fourth in this Ward.

Kenton

In the only ward in Brent where there are three Tory Councillors, the Conservative Party did well here.

Mapesbury

The Lib Dems currently have three Councillors in this Ward but signs for a Labour gain in the future are positive. Labour membership in this Ward has spiked up since the Lib Dems entered Government and the Liberals polled third behind the Tories and Labour in this Ward.

Queensbury

In what is known as a Labour vs Tory marginal Ward, Labour won more than twice as many votes than the Tories in this Ward.

Stonebridge

This is our strongest Ward with Labour winning 78.9% of the vote. The Lib Dems were battered into fourth place behind us, the Tories and the Greens. There narrowly polled ahead of the Christian Party who won 2.9% of the vote in Stonebridge. This is 0.2% less than what the Liberals polled. This is bad news for Brent Central MP Sarah Teather who did poll better than expected in Labour heartlands in Brent in order to win the Brent Central seat in 2010.

Sudbury

Labour currently has one Councillor in this ward and these poll results show that Labour is on course to gain at least another in Sudbury. Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Cllr Paul Lorber is in a very nervous position and it will go down to the wire for the Sudbury Council vote in 2014.

Sarah Teather Caught Yellow Handed

Last Friday, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman launched the ‘caught yellow handed’ document to tie in with the local election campaigns happening around the country.

The document exposes the Liberal Democrat MPs in Government for being responsible for imposing the cuts but hypocritically opposing them locally.

Brent Central MP Sarah Teather gets a starring role in the document on page 4 with the hypocrisy of their campaign in Dollis Hill Ward that I highlighted in March 2012 featuring strongly.

You can read the document highlighting the two-facedness of the Lib Dems here – LINK

Lib Dems hold Dollis Hill Ward by-election by 37 votes but a lot to be proud of after increasing our share of the vote

The results of the Dollis Hill by-election on 22nd March 2012 are as follows.

Labour       1168        (45.1%)      up from 38.4% in 2010

Lib Dem    1205        (46.5%)      up from 40.8% in 2010

Tory            140      (5.4%)         down from 16.9% in 2010

Green          79            (3%)             down from 3.9% in 2010

Turnout was 29.8%.

As you can see, Labour put up a pretty good fight in our attempt to gain this seat from the Liberal Democrats. We fought a positive campaign and increased our share of the vote. Parvez was an excellent candidate and very personable, hard working and gracious in defeat. The Tory vote collapsed in Dollis Hill Ward and it seems the Lib Dems benefited from this.

Congratulations to Parvez and all the candidates for the hard work they put in and to the newly elected Councillor Alison Hopkins.

Sarah Teather and the Brent Liberal Democrats slammed in Parliament for being hypocritics

Following my blogpost here LINK – covered by the brilliant Political Scrapbook website here LINK the issue of the Brent Central Liberal Democrats political communications during Lib Dem Alison Hopkin’s Dollis Hill Ward by-election campaign has been raised to the Leader of the House of Commons Sir George Young.

In a Parliamentary debate, Angela Eagle MP said:

May I wish everyone a happy international women’s day and welcome the debate later today, for which I thank my hon. Friend the Member for North East Derbyshire (Natascha Engel)? Does the Leader of the House agree that the Justice Secretary should clear his diary to attend it? The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill will halve the number of women entitled to legal aid in domestic violence cases. The Opposition have set out proposals to reduce the legal aid bill without penalising the most vulnerable. Will the Leader of the House explain how the Government’s proposals are fair?

One person who does not think it fair is the junior Education Minister, the hon. Member for Brent Central (Sarah Teather), who spends her day voting for Government cuts and then goes delivering leaflets in the evening asking, “Who can you trust to stop the cuts?” The answer is clearly not the Liberal Democrats. Will the Leader of the House arrange for an urgent debate on Government communications to the electorate to enable her to explain herself?

This was picked up by a number of MPs on Twitter who highlighted the level of Lib Dem hypocrisy on the social networking site:

More MPs commented and people around the country condemned the hypocritical approach of the Brent Liberal Democrats. Brent deserves better than this sort of shameful and shameless set of individuals.