Posts Tagged ‘Ivan Lewis’

The party needs to tread carefully replacing its estranged MPs

05/02/2019, 09:52:03 PM

How is Labour handling the tricky round of parliamentary selections in seats where a sitting MP has either quit or been expelled from the party?

This is always a tricky subject. Local parties can become deeply divided over the fate of their estranged MP (who can often be like family to long-serving members) while party chiefs need to make a careful judgement about the individual seat and whether claims of a personal following for the MP might translate into a personal vote if they were to stand as an independent.

The received wisdom, however, is that independents struggle, regardless of whether they are sitting MPs. In the 2017 election, Simon Danczuk received just 1.8% of the vote in his Rochdale seat, after he was expelled from the party.

Still, in a marginal seat the possibility that a former MP might stand, clattering into a new candidate and gifting the seat to another party, is very real. So how is Labour responding in those seats with MPs that have resigned or been forced out of the party?

In Sheffield Hallam, the deputy leader of Sheffield City Council, Olivia Blake, was recently selected as a replacement for the suspended Jared O’Mara from an all-women shortlist (AWS). This made sense, given the allegations against O’Mara for his juvenile sexist postings on social media. (A hipster university seat, Hallam is reputed to have the highest number of people with a Phd in the country).

However In Barrow and Furness, where John Woodcock resigned from the party following allegations – (and they are just allegations) of sexual misconduct – the party did not impose an AWS, selecting former soldier and Network Rail employee, Chris Altree, from an open shortlist on Saturday to defend Labour’s wafer-thin majority of just 209.


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Labour’s metro mayors will have to be the next best thing to governing

06/08/2016, 10:21:52 PM

As the Labour leadership race gathers pace, another party selection process enters its final week.

Labour members in Merseyside, Greater Manchester and a big chunk of the West Midlands are choosing candidates to fight next May’s first-ever ‘metro mayor’ elections.

These powerful new roles will create a cadre of directly-elected civic leaders, with direct personal mandates, who will take charge of economic development, strategic planning and transport in their areas. The Greater Manchester package also includes the £6 billon health and social care budget for the city-region.

Given the three conurbations are each strongly Labour, the party’s selection process will, in all likelihood, choose who becomes the eventual mayor in each area.

In Merseyside, the contest is a race between Liverpool’s directly-elected city mayor, Joe Anderson, and Liverpool Walton MP (and Jeremy Corbyn’s parliamentary private secretary) Steve Rotheram. Anderson, a powerhouse local government veteran who is well-regarded in Whitehall, is pitching himself as the candidate with a clear plan and a record of delivery and job creation.


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Knowing me knowing… Ivan Lewis

16/06/2011, 05:54:37 PM

This week shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis takes the Uncut hot seat

What was the last film you saw in the cinema?

The King’s Speech.

What was the last piece of music you bought?

Taylor Swift – Speak now – Came highly recommended by my 14 year old son.

What is the best thing about being British?

The NHS which is unique and should never be taken for granted.

Which current non-Labour MP to you most admire and why?

Norman Lamb – Because before the last general election unlike Andrew Lansley he was genuinely willing to seek a consensus on the future of social care.

Do you believe that the message of socialism alleviating inequality will be heard in our lifetime?

It is heard by many in the world but the challenge is for us to use language and adopt policies which persuade the majority that it is not only morally right but in all of our interests.

What is your most irrational fear?

Eating an olive!

What is your favourite meal to cook yourself?

Ivan Lewis. Epicurean.

Parsnip soup and bagels with red Leicester cheese and sweet and sour pickled cucumbers. Sad but true.

Which labour politician, living or dead, do you most admire?

Alan Johnson (very much alive!) – A remarkable life’s journey – and no I am not after any of the royalties from his book…

Is it wrong to hate tories?

Yes, because hate is a word to be used sparingly if at all. But also we need to win back many people who voted Tory at the last election if we are to form a Government in the future.


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Thursday News Review

12/05/2011, 06:53:52 AM

£60m, a drop in the Future Job Fund’s ocean

David Cameron and Nick Clegg will be together at an event later to launch a government drive on youth unemployment. The prime minister and his deputy will announce a £60m package to boost work prospects and vocational education. They will commit in their appearance in London to tackle “structural barriers” to young people starting a career. It comes as the coalition is under more strain after the flagship policy of directly elected police commissioners was defeated in the House of Lords. – BBC News

The Government has announced a £60m funding boost to help youth employment. As nearly 700,000 14- to 18-year-olds are currently not in employment or full-time education, it is hoped the cash will help boost apprenticeships and reform vocational education. The announcement comes as 100 large companies and tens of thousands of small companies across the country have responded to the Government’s call and pledged to offer work experience places. In total the coalition will provide funding for up to 250,000 more apprenticeships over the next four years, and funding for 100,000 work placements over the next two years. The £60m will be spent over the three years and fund more early access Work Programme places, increase the capacity of Jobcentre Plus to support teenagers who are not in education, employment or training and pay for a new £10m per year Innovation Fund to help disadvantaged people. – Yorkshire Post

The war on red tape claims its first victims

Unions have rounded on the government over plans to water down workers’ rights to “make it easier for businesses to grow”. Lib Dem minister Ed Davey will announce the new areas of employment legislation up for review at the Institute for Economic Affairs as the government attempts to clear away restrictions for employers. It will consult on cutting compensation payments for discrimination, reducing the current 90-day timescale for firms to consult over job losses, and changing the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations (Tupe) which protects the pay and conditions of public sector workers transferred between companies. One law firm has warned that the move will disadvantage women and ethnic minority workers. The government is already simplifying the employment tribunal system, looking at extending the period before an unfair dismissal claim can be brought and reviewing the system for managing sickness absence. – the Guardian

Workers are set to receive less protection against redundancy, dismissal and workplace discrimination as the Chancellor George Osborne tears up sections of employment law so businesses can dispose of their staff more easily. Mr Osborne has proposed imposing a cap on awards given in cases of discrimination and abuse in the workplace on the grounds of race or gender. Employers will also be able to sack people more quickly. As well as introducing fees and new rules to prevent “vexatious” claims at employment tribunals, the Government wants to review the unlimited penalties currently applied in employment tribunals, simplify the administration of the national minimum wage and reform the consultation period for collective redundancies. Mr Osborne attacked the trade unions as “the forces of stagnation” who “will try to stand in the way of the forces of enterprise”. The Chancellor’s words were criticised by the unions and Labour Party. John Denham, the shadow Business Secretary, said: “George Osborne’s only idea for growth is to make it easier to cut pay and pensions, dismiss employees without giving time to plan for the future, and make working life more insecure. Successful companies have a workforce that is confident, dedicated and fairly rewarded.” – the Independent

Lords ‘rip the heart’ out of policing bill

Rebel Liberal Democrats scuppered flagship Tory plans for elected police commissioners last night. Former Met chief Ian Blair sided with Lib Dem peers to inflict a bruising Lords defeat on David Cameron. The introduction of elected police chiefs – with the power to hire and fire chief constables – is the Prime Minister’s flagship law and order policy. The Tories say it is vital for making police more accountable to the public. But peers voted to change the plan so that commissioners are appointed by policing panels – not the public – leaving the plan worthless. Liberal Democrat Baroness Harris of Richmond, who led the revolt, said the proposals ‘put so much power in the hands of one person’ that they posed ‘great risks to policing’. The independent peer claimed there was nothing to stop a police commissioner ‘just announcing that he has got rid of the chief constable, or that he wishes to get rid of the chief constable or he has no confidence in the chief constable.’ Analysis of division lists showed there were 13 Lib Dem rebels. The Government’s position was supported by 36 Lib Dem peers. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: ‘The Lords have ripped the heart out of this deeply flawed flagship Bill’. – Daily Mail

David Cameron suffered a major set-back last night after his flagship plan for elected police commissioners was chucked out in the House of Lords. Peers instead backed a rebel Lib Dem move that would see the commissioners appointed rather than directly elected. The PM wanted to see commissioners elected from May next year to replace police authorities in England and Wales. They would have the power to hire and fire chief constables and set forces’ budget and “strategic direction”. But under Lib Dem Baroness Harris of Richmond’s amendment, the chiefs would be chosen by a police and crime panel and not by the public. She raised deep fears over plans that would pose “great risks to policing”. – Daily Mirror

Change or lose

Ed Miliband has been given an astonishing warning by a senior shadow Cabinet minister that he is on course to lose the next election. Shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis, who backed David Miliband in the Labour leadership contest, said the party was seen as one of the ‘North, benefit claimants and immigrants’. His remarks are the most serious internal criticism of Mr Miliband since he became Labour leader last September. They reflect growing anxiety among a rump of Blairite MPs that he is appealing only to core voters, rather than reaching out to swing voters who will decide the next election. They are calling on Mr Miliband to change his strategy after results in last week’s local elections that were worse than those of Michael Foot – Labour’s least successful leader ever. Mr Lewis said the elections showed that so-called ‘squeezed middle’ voters were not yet returning to the Labour fold. In a provocative speech to the modernising group Progress last night, Mr Lewis warned that southern voters see Labour as standing up for other people. – Daily Mail

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Concentrating media influence in the hands of the few will lead to a narrowing of political discussion

07/11/2010, 01:49:17 PM

by Andy Dodd

RECENTLY I heard Lord Tim Bell, ex-advisor to Margaret Thatcher, defend Rupert Murdoch’s bid to take full control of Sky on the BBC world at one.  While Tim Bell’s views on media ownership are predictable, what caught my attention was how he enthused about the plethora of platforms and channels that enable us to have choice over how we access news and information, and how this diversity would ensure plurality and choice in the media.

I was momentarily beguiled by this warm, PR-spun vision of the always connected, always informed society, but then sanity prevailed and I began to realise that this vague, utopian sound bite really doesn’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny.

It’s faintly ridiculous to see someone like Tim Bell using the very philosophy of free and open content provision that Rupert Murdoch hates so much, as a means to justify News Corp being allowed to further eradicate pluralism in the media.

The reality is that large media groups are doing everything they can to roll back openness and return us to the walled garden of the early days of the internet. For example; restricting access to content unless people are prepared to pay for it.  Just because there are dozens of different ways to access information, it doesn’t follow that the content is accessible. (more…)

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Shadow cabinet “vote for me” letters

15/09/2010, 09:29:16 PM

The shadow cabinet race is well under way, and a welcome distraction from the leadership contest. The decisions have been made and confirmed. The nominations must be in by Wednesday 29 September and the canvassing has begun.

So far we have seen “vote for me” letters from:

Roberta Blackman-Woods

Kevin Brennan

Chris Bryant

Barry Gardiner

Helen Goodman

Tom Harris

Meg Hillier

Huw Irranca-Davies

Sadiq Khan

Ivan Lewis

We will keep posting over the coming days until we, like Bob,  get tired of them:

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Shadow cabinet: Vote for Ivan

15/09/2010, 03:03:41 PM

Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 XXXXXXXX
Subject: Shadow Cabinet Election


Shadow Cabinet Election – A fresh Start

I am writing to ask for your support in the Shadow Cabinet election.  This election provides an opportunity to ensure new voices and fresh ideas can play a key role in shaping the renewal of our party.

I offer:

1.  A substantive track record of delivery and innovation

In my nine years as a Minister I demonstrated that Government can transform people’s lives through strong political vision and leadership underpinned by Labour values.

Some examples

In Education – I created young apprenticeships which give talented young people the chance to fulfil their potential via vocational education and developed the first ever Government led anti bullying programme which to this day is impacting in every school across the country.

 In Health – I moved the complex issues of social care and dementia from the margins to the top of the political agenda.

2.  An engaging style of politics

In every Ministerial role I developed an authentic two way dialogue with people on the front line building mutual trust and respect beyond Whitehall.  This included road shows in every region and meant I was able to champion the need for reform while maintaining goodwill towards the Government.  I treated Trade Unions as social partners not “embarrassing relatives”.  As Social Care Minister the media presented me as more of a campaigner for change than a politician defending a failing system.

 3.  The courage to stand up and be counted

I am a loyalist but also someone who is willing to speak his mind when necessary.  Three years ago I was the first Labour politician to warn that there was an urgent need for us to reassure both working and middle class voters that we were still the party of fairness and “on their side”.  Sadly, while we subsequently adopted fairness as our political mantra by that stage too many people no longer believed it was our true mission.  As a Labour team we must never allow such a disconnect to happen again. 

 In the weeks ahead I want to hear your views and will be expanding on my vision for the future.   I ask for your support with humility but also a genuine belief that I can make a serious contribution to renewing Labour as an effective opposition and credible alternative Government.

 Best wishes.


PS If you would welcome a chat please call me on XXXXXXXXXX

 Ivan Lewis MP

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