Throughout 2016 although I have continued to support and fight for the Labour Party and am happy in the direction that the Party has moved, locally I have continued to be on the outside… I’m under no illusion that this position cannot be allowed to continue.
For me, at the moment, I want to dispel the main rumour that is being touted around the political arena in Stoke-on-Trent. I’m convinced that some of the rumour – mongering is being raised to continue the ill feelings and division between the local Labour group and myself, others are repeating ill informed tittle-tattle.
There are members of the Labour Group that are saying that a number of them want me back in the group, but there are reservations… those reservations seem to be based on the main rumour that’s ‘out there’…. so what is this rumour, and what is my response?
The rumour that appears to be having the most negative impact on my involvement in local politics is that I intend to challenge for the MPs position at the next General Election, an interesting concept….
Let’s look at this a little more closely. At the last election, we knew that the incredibly popular Joan Walley was stepping down and that there would be a contest for the position to replace her. At that point, I very clearly stated that I was not interested in putting myself forward for the long listing. Has anything changed?
I can categorically state that nothing has changed, I’m not interested in putting myself forward for the position of a PPC (Prospective Parliamentary Candidate) and cannot see anything changing that. Maybe someone has misinterpreted my thinking when I’ve said that I believe we should have an open slate at selections, but that’s more about allowing grassroots members a choice in who they have representing them than any desire by myself to be a prospective MP. Huge difference.
What I’d say to those putting these tales around is, if you want to know what I am or aren’t thinking about doing… ask!