Latest post on Left Futures

Aberavon: the MP’s staff and the financial incentive to select an establishment candidate

Progress-party-within-a-partyLast week, we revealed that the office of Hywel Francis, the retiring Labour MP for Aberavon, had been doing its best to get Progress loyalist Jeremy Miles selected for the constituency at the next election. Phone calls had been made to party branch officers, we’d been told, in which it was said that his main rival “lacked the academic abilities” to be a Member of Parliament.

You might have assumed that this was simply snobbery on the part of the Francis office. But that ain’t necessarily so. We have now heard from several reliable sources that a member of Francis’s constituency office staff contacted each of the frontrunners in the selection – Miles, Stephen Kinnock, and left-winger Mark Fisher. They were asked if they would retain current constituency staff in the event of them winning the selection, and subsequently being elected as Aberavon MP.

We’ve been told that Fisher and Kinnock refused. Not only might a commitment be burdensome, it would be improper. For it would provide a number of key local activists with a financial incentive to back particular candidates in the selection.

So what can we deduce from the fact that staff have now been proactively canvassing for Jeremy Miles? We leave you to decide.

And that’s not the end of it. We’re told that at least one staff member canvassing for Miles is a member of the CLP’s selection committee. Those involved with the selection’s procedures aren’t allowed to canvass for anyone. Full stop.

The more we hear about what’s going on in Aberavon, the more it sounds like a stitch-up. Ed Miliband promised to banish machine politics. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time that continuing improper practice has shown there’s still a lot of work to be done.


  1. swatantra says:

    Can we stop all this nonsense about Progress being ‘a Party within a Party’. Progress are modernisers to their credit, which is more than can be said for a lot of others stuck in rut.

  2. John Reid says:

    Just ignore them Swantantra, there’s no proof that progress is a part within a party, when they start endorsing anyone other than the labour candidate, in say Tower hamlets, then this smear will hold water.

  3. Mick Hall says:


    What does that word mean, I ask because it is the sort of language neo liberal conservatives use. You know, like reform, which in reality means benefit cuts, or filleting its democratic process and making party conference a leadership jamboree not dissimilar to the US democratic party of today.

    Now if you mean it in a progressive way a moderniser in the Labour party would be doing a way with all this type of crap plus ending support for the USAs wars. Is this what you mean, comrades? Or do you mean something far more sinister? Ie more of the neo liberal crap so favoured by the war criminal Blair.

  4. Andrea says:

    I am attempting to reconstruct the nominations so far

    Community and ASLEF: Kinnock
    Unite, GMB, USDAW and UCATT: Miles
    Unison: Fisher

    Ward branches (there are 16 wards in Aberavon. Have all of them a branch or a couple of them are merged into a single branch?)

    Here’s what I got from candidates twitter feeds regarding the male nomination…

    Aberavon: Miles
    Baglan: Miles
    Briton Ferry (both East and West?): Miles
    Bryn and Cwmavon: Kinnock
    Coedffranc Central
    Coedffranc North
    Coedffranc West
    Glyncorrwg: Miles
    Gwynfi: Kinnock
    Margam: Miles
    Port Talbot
    Sandfields East
    Sandfields West: Miles
    Tai-bach: Miles

    Fisher has at least 1 ward nomination.

    Women’s Forum is for Miles.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      My understanding is that Miles has 6 member branches & two affiliates (though UCATT must be a 3rd), Fisher has 1 member branch & six affiliates (3 Unison, 2 CWU, NUM), Kinnock 2 member branches & two affiliates, Rachel Taylor (who works for Hywel Francis) picked up most members branches (as additional womens nomination), two other male candidates picked up 2 and 1 members’ branches respectively, and there are at least two other candidates with an odd nomination. On that basis Miles, Kinnock, Fisher & Taylor ought to be shortlisted but we’ll see tonight whether they’re longisted.

      1. Andrea says:

        I understand shortlisting interviews are on saturday

  5. swatantra says:

    They’re all male pale and stale! How about making it an AW S and an ABAME S?

  6. swatantra says:

    ‘…. apart from Taylor …’

  7. craig says:

    “Left Futures” and youre discussing Labour? Kinnock is standing, a very wealthy, tax evading member of the establishment elite. Goes to show just how right wing our society is when he’s a member of your left wing. I know this wont be well received but have any of you actually thought about voting for the only party in Wales that actually resembles a left wing party, Plaid Cymru?

© 2024 Left Futures | Powered by WordPress | theme originated from PrimePress by Ravi Varma