Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ann Clwyd about to do a U-Turn?

The Wasting Mule reports that...
"Veteran Welsh Labour MP and health campaigner Ann Clwyd is considering retracting her decision to stand down at next year’s general election, we can reveal".
Ms Clwyd's possible U-Turn may be due to  the possibility that in  in the wake of a row between her constituency party and Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), which has decided her successor should be selected by means of an all-women shortlist.
Grassroots party members in Cynon Valley have overwhelmingly said they want to select who they regard as the best candidate, regardless of gender.
The Mule claim they  contacted Ms Clwyd after being tipped off that she may be reconsidering her position. She told them:

 “Yes, I have received many letters from people asking me to stand again and I am thinking about it. The NEC hasn’t moved to select a new candidate yet and I can’t see them doing so in August.
“The wards [local party branches in Cynon Valley] were consulted and members said they wanted to choose the best candidate. They said they’d select a woman if she was the best candidate but they don’t want an all-women shortlist.
“I’m considering the requests that I stand again but haven’t contacted the party centrally at this stage.”
 There are concerns that imposition may lead to  a rerun of Baneau Gwent 505  general election campaign where  Blaenau Gwent AM Peter Law won a sensational general election victory in 2005 after breaking with Labour and when he died a year later the seat was held in the ensuing by-election by his agent and former constituency party official Dai Davies.

Labour did win Blaneau Gwent back in 2010 and there does seemto be no leading Male dissident in the mold of Peter Law.

However Plaid have in the past had a fairly strong presence in the Cynon Valley and a win there with a divided Labour Party is not impossible.

General Election 2010: Cynon Valley[3][4]
LabourAnn Clwyd15,68152.5−10.5
Plaid CymruDafydd Davies6,06420.3+6.8
Liberal DemocratLee Thacker4,12013.8+1.6
ConservativeJuliette Ash3,01010.1+2.1
UKIPFrank Hughes1,0013.4+0.7
Labour holdSwing−8.6
Perhaps the most interesting piece in the Mule's article is that 
 An all-women shortlist was not used to select a new candidate in Pontypridd when Kim Howells stood down in 2010, for example, and the seat is now held by high-flying Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith. Equally Stephen Kinnock, son of Neil and Glenys, the new candidate in Aberavon to succeed Hywel Francis at next year’s general election, was selected from an open shortlist.
Can it be that Labour only want all women shortlists if they don't have a favourite son place?

Ms Clwyd, who is 77, responded positively when we asked if she was in good health and energetic. Paul Flynn, who is two years older than Ms Clwyd, has confirmed he will be seeking re-election in the Newport seat he has held since 1987.

And age should be no barrier If sh up to the job then there's no reason why sh and Paul Flynn should not carry on.

Indeed Paul Flynn appears to be more  active than most Welsh Labour MPs.

Still one wonders if a U-Turn by Ms Clwyd rather than geting Labour out of a Hole  may give Labour a bigger headache .


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