Saturday, May 08, 2010

Red Newham: 63 – Nil

Not forgetting for a moment that we were beaten nationally and are facing the awful prospect of a Tory/Liberal coalition government. I will congratulate Labour comrades in Newham and across London for some magnificent results.

In Newham as I have already posted here our two MPs were re-elected with massive and increased majorities and there was a swing from the Conservatives to Labour!

Our Labour Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, was elected on the first ballot with an equally huge majority and nearly 65,000 votes (68% of turnout).

While we also won all 60 Councillor seats in Newham Council with thumping majorities - defeating the last remaining Respect Councillor and seeing off the simply dreadful CPA by over 600 votes. The Tories came closest at Royal Docks ward but still lost by over 400 votes.

I was really pleased and very proud to be elected as a Labour Councillor with Ron Manley and Freda Bourne for West Ham ward. Freda came top with 3290 votes, Ron next with 3048 and I was the 3rd elected member with 2906. The 4th non-elected candidate was a Conservative who polled 886.  There was another 6 opposition candidates.

Arguable it was "65 - nil" since our London Assembly member John Biggs and our MEP Claude Moraes are both Labour as well. Check out Newham results here.

I will post further on the campaign and the ordeal of the Counts another time.

Congratulation to Barking and Dagenham comrades (and “Hope not Hate”) who wiped out all the BNP Councillors and also took all the Council seats (51 – nil). Special mention to UNISON NEC member and Lolly pop lady, Louise Couling, who DID defeat BNP Assembly member Barnbrook.

I was also ecstatic that Team Labour was elected in Tower Hamlets.   Rushanara Ali was elected MP for Bethnal Green & Bow, Respect were practically wiped out (only one seat left) and the utterly loathsome (and now exposed as cowardly) Mr Galloway, was soundly defeated by Jim Fitzpatrick in Limehouse and Poplar.

I understand that Labour will now control a majority of “London Councils”.

Finally Commiserations to all Labour Parliamentary and Council Candidates who were not elected. We must not be carried away with our relative local successes but must concentrate now on getting the National Party in shape, revitalised and re-organised in time for a probable general election coming some time soon.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see Labour do so well in London. Credit to you and the comrades.

Here in Southampton we just managed to beat Ashcrofts millions by getting John Denham back in but by only 190 votes!! The Tory candidate was a nasty piece of work (arent they all!!) We managed to get enough people out on the day to make sure the Tory was beaten.

We cant rest despite the defeat nationally. Good news that we regained 14 Councils. More to follow next year


Tom Powdrill said...

congratulations John! I'm sure you'll be a great councillor.

Great results across London. Doesn't make up for the national picture, but surely very encouraging for the future?

All the best

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the use of the word "Comrades" in most of your posts John?

I have always believed Comrades is more akin to communism and the old communist USSR. Is that what you mean? I would therefore believe that old people who fought in WW2 and have East End routes, who traditionally vote Labour no matter what, would be totally against communism as that is what they fought partly against? So wouldnt these same people be angered by the term comrades?

I'm not knocking you, I'm just interested. Additionally, I live in the West Ham ward where you have just been elected councillor.


James Caspell said...

Congratulations John.

Anonymous said...


Ok 'Comrades' seems abit oldfashioned/nostagic.

Its a left wing thing you see.

Try not to analise it. There are far more important things to analise


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your election as a Labour councillor. I was delighted to see Labour holding up well in the capital and also that the Tories did not secure an absolute majority in parliament.

As a local party member I hope that new councillors such as yourself may contribute to a broadening and a democratising of debate within the Labour group and the local party more generally.

To Robert - the term Comrade has been used within the Labour movement for as long as I can remember. It's part of the socialist tradition, not synonymous with communism. It's also been used by soldiers of course so I'm sure no old soldiers would be offended!

John Gray said...

Hi Ian

Many thanks! Great news about John in Southampton (our MP Lyn Brown use to be his PPS and will be well pleased) – OMG 190 votes! The Count must have been unbearable!
Yep, you are right – no time for rest (apart from this weekend) we have an election to prepare for and win.

Cheers Tom – have to chat about Newham LG Pension fund (which I will be joining as a contributing member)

Hi Robert
I think Ian and others have answered your point on “comrades”.

If you do live in the ward then please drop me an email with your contact details. I want to set up a website for the ward and an email newsletter/bulletin.

Thank you James!

Hi Anon
I think this tremendous local victory was down to the “Team Labour”. At the risk of sounding a little bit pompous (aka Mike Law-ish) we must now keep this collective spirit going as we not only serve the people of Newham but ready ourselves for the coming General election battle ahead.

Anonymous said...

Since West Ham is one of the safest Labour wards in Newham and has been so since its creation. It is hardly a major acheivement to have once again won it. It used to be said that you could dress up a baboon in a red rossette in West Ham and it would get elected. With all Newham's seats in Labour hands, there is a major democratic deficit. Will any of you guys be holding Sir Robin to account? Didn't think so, enjoy the expenses.

John Gray said...

Hi anon

I think this is called sour grapes