Labour Students Line Up for Oldham Selection

Aaron Marius Porter hinted on the Politics Show that the NUS, a.k.a. him, may put up a candidate at the Oldham by-election, triggered ironically by the disgrace of a former NUS President. The NUS press office is in a mess this morning, but apparently Porter is denying he would stand independently, which makes sense given he would take votes from Labour and jeopardise his chance for a safe seat in 2015. The same reason rules out former President Wes Streeting who left his lucrative job at PWC to remain a Labour councillor. He’s not going to blow his chances.

Labour are desperate to find a candidate quickly and rumours are flying of who they have approached. The very close association of Phil’s loyal old bag carrier, Shona Woodfine has damaged her chances of getting the nomination and the race is very much open…

Given that tuition fees rises have been the most emotive part of the cutting agenda, so far, it would make sense for Labour to shore up their base and steal LibDem votes by running their by-election campaign around this issue, distracting from the shame of their former Member. Porter would have to quit as NUS President to run, and although Wes told Guido he wouldn’t run, in no uncertain terms, it’s not like an aspiring candidate has never denied an interest in the past. But on the ground things are hotting up…

Sources say the NUS/Labour hacks to keep an eye on are Josh MacAlister, a former Labour Students hack who now bills himself as “a teacher from Oldham” (he’s on TeachFirst which means he does this for a year or two and then goes away to work in the city). Only problem being he supported David Miliband.

The other is Kev Peel, a gay rights campaigner, championed by Gordon Brown and a ruthlessly ambitious careerist. Both boys set up theKeep Oldham Labour” Facebook site. A friend close to Mr MacAlister says he isn’t surprised Josh is in the running and says he is “highly rated” in the local association. You heard it here first…

UPDATE: “Local teacher” MacAlister’s close friendship with his old student union ally Kenny Young might come in very handy. Depite an omnishambles of a career so far, Clamity Kenny has somehow managed to rise to the dizzy heights of Ed Miliband’s “Press Manager”.

Someone to lobby for him on the inside…



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GuidoFawkes Quote of the Day

Former Labour MP Dame Anne Begg:

“[Iain Duncan Smith] took to standing behind me during Prime Minister’s Questions. He stood at what’s called the Bar of the House and occasionally he would lean on my wheelchair. Our working relationship was slightly fraught anyway because I’d been critical of him a lot. I wanted to keep that criticism a professional criticism, not a criticism of him as a person so I never quite built up the courage to actually say: ‘Please don’t do that.'”

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