Following the Labour Leadership result, the Willesden and Brent Times contacted me for my thoughts on Ed Miliband being elected new leader of the Labour Party. They did not publish them, so the comments may as well go to use some place, so I will be publishing my responses to their questions on my blog.
What are your views on critics saying that Ed is tied to the Unions?
I think what the ‘tied to the Union claim’ is over exaggerated. It’s worth noting that in the affiliate members section of the Labour Party are not solely from Unions, but votes from BAME Labour, Labour Party Disabled Members’ Group and SERA (Labour’s environment campaign group), also contributed to total votes.
What his vote share amongst the affiliate groups represents is a strong mandate. Union member votes are no longer allocated on a block vote basis. It was therefore individual decisions of tens of thousands of the working men and women, teachers, doctors, nurses, disabled people, ethnic minorities, Labour members as well as Labour elected representatives that took part in this selection process, meaning that more people chose Ed to be leader of the Labour Party than voted for David Cameron to head the Tories or Nick Clegg to lead the Lib Dems. That represents a stronger mandate than any Party leader in the UK can claim.