Rotherham By-Election Daily News Digest – 13th Nov

This will be another very interesting day in the by-election lead up.

Labour members meeting tonight at New York Stadium, the shortlist:

– Sarah Champion is the Chief Exec of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, a role she has held since 2008. Before that she was chief executive of the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester for 12 years.

– Sophy Gardner is a former RAF Wing Commander, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was also in charge of RAF transport and refuelling assets during the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Afghanistan operations 2001-2, for which she was awarded the MBE. She’s an advocate for Labour Friends of the Forces, and runs her own communications strategy consultancy. Gardner was shortlisted for Feltham and Heston.

Labour stitch-up or inspired shortlist?

There were rumours right at the beginning that Rotherham would be suitable for an all women shortlist, given that the other two MPs happen to be male!

Now members have one imposed, which, for some, will test their loyalty beyond breaking point!

Newsflash! So much hot air released in the Lubyanka, they have turned the heating off!

Simon Wilson, a businessman, has been chosen to fight the by-election for the Conservatives.

UKIP are choosing their candidate this evening, more later.

Michael Beckett selected for Liberal Democrats!

Rowdy scenes at New York Labour selection – Champion selected with a majority of 2 with 13 votes!

49 thoughts on “Rotherham By-Election Daily News Digest – 13th Nov

  1. I am no fan of Hussain, an individual who milked the civic gravy train, an individual who stood back and allowed children to be abused and failed to tackle MacShane over his conduct.
    What is a dark day for Rotherham is the that yet again the way the NEC have treated Rotherham Labour supporters, I no longer carry the card, tore mine up when Blair took us into an illegal war, so for those whom still carry the card they have to select a candidate not of their choosing, award them a safe seat for life and tomorrow go out into the cold and rain to deliver election material, continue paying their subs and when the coffers start to run-on empty donate what’s left of their pension, cash to the party.

    Mugs every one of them!

    I would hope that the by-election will be fought on that very British value of fair play, however this is Rotherham, so I say to those who may be minded to bully taxi drivers in not providing transport to Respect members, don’t, to those who would want to imply the outcome of a planning application may not be positive, don’t and to those who would stop takeaway owners from displaying Respect posters don’t, you will be named and shamed and what a further stain that would leave on your already poor reputation and that of the town.

    It would be interesting to know how long both Champion and especially Gardner had been a member of the party given Gardner`s rank in the RAF.

    Stop being taken for granted and stop being mugs!


      • Yes, it’s in her LinkedIn entry .

        CMI (Chartered Managment Institute)
        Post Graduate Diploma, Strategic Management
        2006 – 2007

        University of Cambridge
        MA MPhil, Geography, European Studies 1988 – 1991
        MPhil 1993-4
        (Cambridge MA is really a Batchelor degree, MPhil is a proper Masters degree).

        Kingston Grammar School
        1986 – 1988
        (mixed , elitist, independent – she must have enrolled into the 6th form).

        Putney High School
        1975 – 1986
        (all-girls, elitist, independent).

        Currently : director of
        Company details:
        Registration Date: 25/05/2011
        Registration Number: 07647024
        Type: Private Limited Company
        (no accounts yet filed).


      • I made a mistake in Ms Gardner’s educational background. Kingston Grammar is not Independent, it is maintained by the Local Authority.

        As far as Ms Champion is concerned, it is impossible to discover much about her on the web; other than what Rothpol wrote above, and that she once edited a book about Chinese Artists in Manchester and had her photograph taken,quite recently, with Kevin Barron when he handed over to the Bluebell Charity that she CEOs, the £3000 he got for his work for the Japanese Pharmaceutical Group.
        She is almost certainly a very nice and interesting person, but she seems never to have taken on any real challenges. Is she on the short-list only because they need 2 names, and they need a near anonymous person so as to ensure that Ms Gardner will be selected?


    • I would have thought that the fact that Sophy Gardner has achieved things outside politics and hasn’t come through the usual SPAD/bag carrier route would count in her favor.


  2. Whats all this with labour getting ex military? it used to be the preseve of old tory grandees
    Recent additions have been Jim blarite murphy, Eric headbanger Joyce, Para Jarvis et all
    Is it guilt after the illegal wars?

    What experience have they got of being an advocate or does that not matter in modern labour


  3. Yesterday lunchtime the word from London was that Eddie Izzard was the preferred candidate, just when they decided to impose an all women short list is debatable.
    Once again the Labour Party hierarchy have imposed their wishes on Rotherham people.
    Did they not learn their lesson with McShane? Obviously not!
    A short list of two is hardly a choice for members.

    What is the choice ?
    A ‘local’ women from Manchester or a southern ex soldier.

    This has shades of Barnsley, The difficulty for London is that they fail to recognise that Rotherham is not Barnsley. They are so far removed from the North that they see nothing of the different cultures between the two places.
    Up north – so they must be the same.

    Could it be that because Respect are fielding a women, the suits of Labour thought it would be in their favour if Labour fielded just women? Possibly, but they have made a grave mistake in my view. They have seriously under estimated the people of Rotherham, who are proud and independent and who do not like being bullied by southerners.

    Or could it be that the suits don’t believe that Rotherham Labour Party members are capable of choosing a candidate acceptable to the Labour Party hierarchy. Possibly, given they chose Barron, but we all make mistakes! I am sure that Rotherham party members would rather make their own mistakes than have one foisted on them by the ‘bosses’.

    I left the Labour Party years ago when this lack of democracy was becoming apparent, I wonder how many more members will walk – the local labour parties are seriously depleted of challenging, working party members. Hence local branches having to amalgamate to function, there is little if any debate at constituency level and a general malaise within the local branches. Party candidates for Rotherham Council are increasingly from outside the ward they intend to represent. eg Wales has TWO out of the three from elsewhere.

    The people of Rotherham will give Labour a bloody nose if they choose to, whoever the Labour candidate is. It is however, more likely with an imposed candidate – and it will serve them right.


  4. I and many labour members as over 50 labour members are not going to campaign. A complete and utter boycott. We may have our opinions on Mr Hussain, but the facts are he was in no meeting concerning the grooming issues as its not in his Role at all. And he spoke against Mr Mcshane on numerous occasions, but we can always get to the nitty gritty and look at the bad. But lets also look at the good. He was our local boy, a perfect candidate. With the highest majority in Rotherham, a lab party voting rise of 13% at his last election, with the biggest campaign team in Rotherham. The simple thing is no one can be liked by everyone but Mr Hussain was robbed on principle. How can he pass the Middlesbrough short list 2 weeks ago but not make it in Rotherham where he was the clear favourite. Sometimes guys its about standing up for principles and fairness. I SAY IF THE NEC WANT TO DECTATE THE SELECTION IN THIS FOUL MANNER, LET THE NEC COME AND CAMPAIGN. WE WILL NOT DO IT!!


  5. What happened to labour’s commitment to field working class candidates? Was the decision to exclude Mahroof Hussain and have an ‘all women shortlist’, just a cynical ploy to prevent Mahroof suing the labour party again?


  6. I went to London to march for a alternative future that works but
    I’m not going to New York tonight for the selection
    cos its a Labour future that won’t work


  7. see that mahroof has not denied the charge of being bought off and not to rock the boat due to the nec stitchup
    so he can be givven a safe seat at general election
    cos he would have been like a rabbit caught in headlites by media at by election


    • Having spoken to someone very close to Mahroof I can assure everyone here and especially the above commenter that he has NOT be ‘brought off’. In fact it is totally the opposite as he is shocked and bewildered at not making the short list, especially after the fact that he had made the short list for Middlesbrough only 2 weeks ago. Also according to this person he only withdrew from the Middlesbrough by election because the NEC told him to focus on the Rotherham seat as it was his home seat. Therefore he is taken back at this stich up. Though the person did not say in so many words, but there is a indication that he is considering his future with the party, as there seems to be some indication of discrimination in the decision not to short list him. On what ground I do not know and would not like to make frivolous claims in regards to this. Obviously this is what I have heard from people who are close to Mahroof so cannot comment accurately on the last bit of information, but they deny categorically that there has been any deal made for another safe seat at the general election!!!


      • As I said it was not said in so many words but rather how I understood or read it. I could be completely way of the mark with it. However I’m not aware of any previous case and am now intrigued to learn about this nor did I get any hint that any new law suit might be brought!!!


      • Absolute chaos! Possibly three quarters of the room walked out in protest at the ‘out of towners’ being foistered upon Rotherham by the NEC. Mass moaning outside with some ripping up their cards. It made me laugh when some high profile councillors followed like sheep trying to look in touch with the activist members….could this be a turning point? Have the ‘New Labour’ self indulgent, self serving, expenses loving councillors had their day? Don’t hold your breath. It says more about the NEC’s understanding of how bad the Rotherham Labour Kabal has become.


  8. Slipping under the radar is the news that Shaun Wright intends to stand down from his role as Councillor.
    This leaves the door open for the Rotherham Labour Party to impose Tory Boy onto the unsuspecting citizens of Wrights ward, sounds familiar it should, on one hand they bleat about the NEC and their selection process for candidates and then ape the NEC in putting Tory Boy forward, the full stench of Rotherham Labour hypocrisy!
    To rub salt into the wound, in a previous role Tory Boy was involved with that secretive sect trying to build on green belt in Anston, surprise, surprise the sect are back with a modified application, I wonder who has been advising them?


  9. Hello everyone. Helen Pidd here. I’m a journalist from the Guardian and am coming up to Rotherham tomorrow (Weds 14th) to write about the byelection. If any locals want to get in touch to share their thoughts on the race, I’d be glad to hear from them. My email is helen.pidd @ – @rothpol, I hope you don’t mind me leaving this message here.


  10. Party members walking out, meeting in turmoil, no local candidate will come back to haunt the NEC.

    Just found out that Respect have been offered two prime town centre locations for their election HQ


    • What price loyalty eh?

      Laybah NEC give Laybah Rovrum the middle digit, and impose their Nea Laybah champayne luvverlies wimmin-not-menn on the town, and then know full well that Laybah loyalty is so deeply in-bred in our town that Rovrum Laybah membaz will still pay their subs like lemmings, proudly display red rosettes n posters in their pensioners’ drums, and never ever dreaming of spitting out da Laybah dummy.

      All so predictable and laughable, tee hee, ho ho ho, hum hum hum 🙂

      Now Rovrum Laybah members know how the Bramley/Wickersley citizens felt on many occasions when the Caution Cabinet Clown continually gave our community the middle digit when he overruled and ignored us and imposed his myopic nonsensical whims on us which even went again the advice of his khaki-tongued lickspittles who muster as RMBC Officers.

      This stuff is better than “Saturday Night at The London Palladium” in the 1950s 🙂


  11. My source tells me that 80% of the members walked out and that the Bluebell woman got it on 13 votes to 11. 5 spoiled papers. 3.7%
    She has been a labour party member 2 years and a union member 2 weeks.

    Well done NEC. You have managed what Hitler couldn’t !!!


    • The BBC Look North report and pictures a few minutes ago of Da 1st Class Rail Travel Guru stood with his lip out and long mardy face on surrounded by his circus of muckers was such a tonic to behold 🙂

      I bet that has really done him some good (NOT) within the cloistered controlling out-of-touch ranks of the champayne chattering clarsses of Da Laybah NEC … I can’t get my own way, I’m spitting out my dummy, and going to sulk in the naughty corner, come on lads let’s make a fuss and storm out of the meeting in front of the cameras 🙂


  12. Omar please try BBC iplayer it was on this mornings local news, is Yvonne aware of the Respect and Rotherham thread?

    Bully boy tactics from Labour, Respect need to keep an eye out for this tactic.
    I am sure that if Respect made much of Galloways NUM membership in its material it would go down well, much better than someone who has been a union member for two weeks.


  13. Heard that healey was at meeting last night for imposed shortlist sham because the discredited layba nec appointed healey as their party manager of campaign.

    A break from the past. Whos camp is JH in?


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