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Former chair of Labour executive defects to UKIP after deselection as councillor

Harriet YeoHarriet Yeo who was Chair of the Labour Party from 2012 to 2013 has resigned from the party having been removed as leader of the small Labour group on Ashford council last week for non-attendance at council meetings and a failure to undertake council casework, and, on Monday night, deselected as a candidate for the 2015 local elections. She then claimed her defection was in order to back UKIP “because of Ed Miliband’s failure to offer a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union“. Her daughter had already defected to UKIP last March,

Mr Farage commented (presumably to the sound of barrels being scraped): “I’m delighted that Ukip can now count upon the support of such respected figure as Harriet Yeo.” He would no doubt be less pleased to know that only 9 months ago Ms Yeo retweeted the following uncomplimentary messages about him:

The right-wing press like the Daily Telegraph will make strenuous efforts to hype her defection, egged on by Lynton Crosby, but fortunately Harriet Yeo will not receive any sympathy from many activists in her trade union, the white-collar transport union TSSA of which she used to be President. Labour party activists will hope that the same applies to Peter Pinkney, President of that other transport union, RMT, who recently announced that he had joined the Greens and was to stand as their candidate in Redcar, where Labour needs a 6.2% swing to defeat the Lib Dems. The Greens have recently elected a trade union  officer, Romayne Phoenix (who is also co-chair of the People’s Assembly against Austerity) to their national executive as well as at regional and local levels. According to one Green blogger:

Greens are increasingly likely to be seen on picket lines, outside train stations and in the streets; supporting campaigns for fair pay, to protect pensions, to renationalise the railways and to end the housing crisis.  We still have a long way to go, but we’re making a promising start.

A number of unions, including PCS and NUT as well as RMT, have a presence at Green Party conferences to reflect the increasing importance of the Greens and the their growing interest in the trade union political agenda.


  1. Ric Euteneuer says:

    Much was made of a whole clutch of deselected Tories defecting to UKIP last year in the run up to the London elections – and a few ex-Labour councillors in Barking and Dagenham. This is the first higher profile defection as a consequence of deflection, that said I have asked a few comrades and almost no-one has actually heard of her. She made a big noise a while back about sexist trade union leaders and male domination of the same? One presumes that’s no longer an issue she feels strongly about. Her daughter made the news for failing to get her child to school on a regular basis last year as well. Is it worth pointing out Yeo was a Progress member as well?

    Should be interesting to see the Greens perspective on trade unionism when there is a big dispute in a heavy industry area. I have always found that, outside the grand metropolises, Greens have an antipathy towards trade union activism.

  2. James Martin says:

    I’m guessing she was one of the type of new labour garbage that was interested only in career advancement rather than politics, it after all being the prime reason why a lot of them joined the Progress Tendency at one time?

    1. Robert says:

      She was Progress, she thought the sun shines out of Tony’s rectum, but a large number of the Progress group feel the same.

      I was reading today that some in labour progress group feel that the left are leaving labour to vote for UKIP, of course nobody from Progress is leaving to vote for the right leaning UKIP group.

      When you think that Progress was formed as a place for the swing voters to go , they would find a home in Progress and would benefits from the right leaning group, but people are leaving, but it’s all from the left I doubt it.

      In the end one has to take this lady as leaving for her own reasons, people can get a seat on the NEC especially in some areas where only one of two members stand. So she a right winger has left and moved to an even more right wing party, should we be shocked or for that matter give a dam.

  3. Ric Euteneuer says:

    If anyone in Progress sincerely believes that the moderate left are leaving the party for UKIP, then I despair, I really do. Here is proof,mid any were neded, that these guys (and it is mainly men) have absolutely frack all idea about politics and principles.

  4. John reid says:

    Peter shores widow and sighted have stood for Ukip, one of their founders was Ex labour, and Robert Kilroy silk, ex labour MP was in Ukip, I believe ex councillors from Rainham and Thurrock, near Dagenhan, as stated are now in Ukip

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