Only the week before last, we saw the backlash against Fiona Twycross, Progress and Labour First candidate for Labour’s policy forum. An email from sent out an all-member email just before the ballot papers hit the doormats. Writing at LabourList, Mark Ferguson proclaimed that this signified:
a return to the fixing culture that in the past threatened to overwhelm the party – a culture that is rotten to the core and cares nothing for real party democracy or a level playing field for all candidates.”
So you’d think that candidates in Labour’s ongoing internal elections might have learnt it’s not simply a case of all publicity being good publicity. But that ain’t necessarily so.
A week ago on Sunday, many were slicing their envelopes open and reading the candidates profiles. One of the said profiles was of one Ronit Wolfson, the candidate for the policy forum’s London youth place for party-within-a-party Progress. The same day, Young Labour members in the capital were greeted by a mysteriously short email from the same Ronit Wolfson, informing them of an upcoming social event, and casually dropping in her personal email address.
Shame it didn’t mention when or where the said event would take place.
Numerous activists subsequently made complaints to party HQ, saying that affording the Progress candidate this opportunity to use the official membership lists was an act of extreme bias – especially given that her opponent Sally Hussein received three times as many nominations from constituency parties.
But even when it’s been demonstrated twice over that activists won’t stand for such unfairness, the message hasn’t reached former MP Joan Ryan, a third candidate on the Progress London slate.
Three days ago Ryan’s own plug was dispatched directly from a personal email address. It even reached some members who haven’t been on the London membership register for eight months or more.
Will she come clean about where she garnered members’ personal details, which are conveniently only in the hands of Progress candidates?
Ryan concludes her email:
So if anyone asks you who to vote for please let them know about my candidacy and please give me your support and your vote.”
Is there anyone else who needs to be told about Ryan’s candidacy, when she’s had the decency to even email members who can’t vote for her?