The question Lynne can't answer

Regular readers know that I have a bit of a soft spot for Hornsey & Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone, despite my general and staunch aversion to the Lib Dems per se. So I trust that Pack, Williams and all the other troglodyte LibDem spinmeisters don't do their dreary usual thing and take this post as a "spiteful personal attack"!

Sometimes difficult questions must be asked!

Hunter has asked Lynne to comment on her Cowley Street HQ ousting popular local councillor Sue Cooper as the Henley Lib Dems' by-election candidate only to replace her with a non-local, middle-aged, white male.

Hunter thought
a) that the Lib Dems wanted more women in Parliament (especially on 'their' benches) and
b) favoured local democracy

So why the stitch up?

It seems that Lynne has not been allowed to publish the question on her blog, let alone answer it. Given that Lynne is the Lib Dems spokeswoman on Equality, who else can Sue Cooper turn to for some justice in her party if not to Lynne?

Sorry, Lynne. But if you can't make a stand on this issue, what is the point of you holding the Equality brief at all?


Norfolk Blogger said...

Justin, you might have a pint were it not for the fact that a male candidate was replaced by a femal one for the Crewe and Nantwich by-election.

The Tories are not really any better. Wasn't Tony Lit appointed by David Cameron in Ealing Southall ?

Lynne Featherstone MP said...

Hi Justin. Well firstly - the opposite happened in Crewe - as the first comment states.

We always always always deselect our candidate when there is a by-election. No exceptions. This is because the job specification for a by-election candidate is so different than that for an ordinary PPC. The deselected candidate can always reapply.

Unlike in other parties the final decision is a democratic one, and is entirely down to local members.

The final choice included both genders and members voted for who they wanted.

Thanks for opportunity to put the facts before the people! And for your soft spot!

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Thanks for the reply, Lynne. I find it totally bizarre that a candidate can be good enough for a 'normal' election but not a by-election. Whatever way you look at it, you dumped a popular local female councillor for a non-local male. The difference with Crewe and Nantwich is that you knew you couldn’t win there, whereas you think differently for Henley.

As for "We always always always deselect our candidate when there is a by-election. No exceptions" - I don't think this was the case in Southall. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Lynne Featherstone MP said...

Justin - afraid you are mistaken about Ealing. We always run a new selection process. In that case - Nigel Bhakai went through that process and ended up our by-election candidate.

Anonymous said...

I notice you've picked a white man yourselves.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Yes, the members did. But at least he's local. Your man is from Devon, said he "loves" Plymouth only in May when he stood and lost an election there, and works in south London.

After the next election, win or lose, we'll have far more women, gay and BME MPs than the Lib Dems and Labour combined.

leg-iron said...

After the next election, win or lose, we'll have far more women, gay and BME MPs than the Lib Dems and Labour combined.

Speaking as an ordinary voter (the floating kind), that's not a selling point at all.

I honestly don't care in the slightest about the gender, sexual orientation, skin colour or anything else about the candidates I have to choose between at election time. Heck, I don't even care what species they are!

The only factor I'm going to consider, when deciding where to put that 'X', is 'What is this politician going to do if he/she/it gets elected? Are they going to do something useful or not?'

How many of each category of ethnicity, how many straight/gay, how many men/women your party contains is of no relevance to me. What you're going to do about the NHS/schools/tax etc is what matters.

I want to know what you're going to do. I really don't care who's doing it.

Mike said...

nice post

Dan said...

In Glasgow East, the Tories have replaced their previous candidate with a new one...what do you make of that?

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Don't know the in and outs but IF she was 'dumped' it wasn't a wise move.