Saturday News Review

Ed B begins courtship

Ed Balls makes his pitch to the grassroots

Ed Balls is launching a drive to get more ethnic minority candidates into Labour politics, pledging that as party leader he would devote a proportion of party funds towards boosting their number. The leadership contender plans to set up a Labour party diversity fund to enable candidates from groups currently under-represented to stand for elected office.” – The Guardian

Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls has pitched to the grassroots of his party, calling for greater involvement from members and trade unions. Shadow education secretary Mr Balls said Labour needed to do more to support people from under-represented groups to stand “at every level”. – The Belfast Telegraph

“We must seize the chance of this leadership election to renew the Labour Party from the ground up and re-engage with the communities we are elected to serve. Political aims, vision and policies aren’t enough unless Labour can also be a community-based political party rooted in the communities we represent.” – Ed Balls, Labour Values

McDonnell wins

“John McDonnell has promised to bring in a new trade union freedom bill to tackle British Airways-style legal threats to strike action after winning first place in the parliamentary ballot of private members’ bills. The veteran leftwinger, who dropped out of Labour’s leadership contest last week, is seeking support from the TUC’s general council for the bill, which will have top priority among backbench legislative proposals this autumn. Mr McDonnell’s last bill on the subject was talked out under Government opposition in 2008. Mr McDonnell said employers such as BA had been exploiting “minor technicalities” to “frustrate the democratic decisions of trade unionists”.” – Tribune

Mayoral race

“Former mayor Ken Livingstone and former Bethnal Green MP Oona King are in the running, along with party activists Seton During and Emmanuel Okoro. Mr During is a chartered engineer and a former councillor in Enfield, while Mr Okoro is an artist.” – The BBC

Oona King and Ken Livingstone campaigning in Brick Lane during the 2005 election.

Nominations have closed for Labour London Mayor candidate

“Livingstone has wanted to return to the role of mayor since losing the 2008 election to Tory Boris Johnson and routinely attends City Hall events to watch his successor being grilled by the London assembly. He has held two London conferences in the past 18 months under the banner of the Progressive London coalition, which has been widely seen as preparation for his bid to be reselected as Labour candidate.” – The Guardian

“Former Bethnal Green and Bow MP Oona King has thrown her hat into the ring and will be facing twice London mayor Ken Livingstone for the Labour nomination. Ms King who lives in Mile End was an MP from 1997 to 2005 before she was defeated by Respect’s George Galloway.” – The East London Advertiser

 “I’m going to set out to make things fairer. Let’s start with housing. Give people a decent home and you give them dignity. Their children flourish. I believe that housing is as important a “public service” as schools and hospitals, yet when we used the term “public service” we often only mean the latter two. London needs affordable housing. I want to bring back the requirement that 50 per cent of new build homes are affordable.” – Oona King, Tribune

Welsh AMs bum deal

 “LABOUR has been accused of branding AMs “second class parliamentarians” by not giving them a dedicated vote in the party’s UK leadership election […]AMs and MSPs [Members of the Scottish Parliament] are not included in the electoral college as parliamentarians – this only includes Labour MPs and MEPs. But in last December’s election of a Welsh Labour leader, MPs with Welsh constituencies did have a vote.” – The Western Mail

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