John O'Farrell: Labour Went Back on "Every Policy I Believed In"

The Eastleigh by-election has reached that point where every word the candidates have ever uttered is dredged up and thrown back at them. John O’Farrell got it in the neck about his views on the IRA and Thatcher at the weekend, Maria Hutchings apparently once called Dave a sell-out and the LibDem bloke’s voting record does not match his leaflets. For his two cents, the Brighton bomb quote was not the only bit of O’Farrell’s 1998 autobiography Things Can Only Get Better that caught Guido’s eye:

“I was able to stay in the Labour Party while it ceased opposing privatisation, ceased to support unilateral nuclear disarmament, ceased voting against the Prevention of Terrorism Act and went back on just about every policy I believed in to get itself elected in 1997.”

O’Farrell has fired up the Labour Twitterati and got some boots on the ground, but aside from his comedic running commentary from the stump, he has not really said very much. Has he changed his mind on privatisation and nukes?

Ed in Eastleigh Tomorrow

Guido understands the Labour leader will be journeying south to help out his joke candidate John O’Farrell tomorrow.

And this time he’s armed with an actual policy…

Eastleigh Naked Rambler Reveals By-Election Allegiance

The Prime Minister may have been in Eastleigh this afternoon but the LibDem campaign has received the biggest boost today: Stephen Gough, the local Eastleigh naked rambler, has declared he is a member of the LibDems and planted his yellow rosette firmly on his er, poll. They’ve got the big mo…

Via Southern Daily Echo

Tory MP's Speedy Reply To LibDem Donation Begging Email

When the LibDems sent out their latest begging email for cash for the Eastleigh campaign, sending it to a Tory MP probably was not the best plan:

From: Paddy Ashdown
Sent: 12 February 2013 12:47
To: ADAMS, Nigel
Subject: Please do this today

Dear Nigel,

When we won Eastleigh in 1994, it was a breakthrough for Liberal Democrats. This by-election can be as well.

To give you just one example, a donation of £25 today will allow us to contact an extra hundred voters in Eastleigh before the weekend. Only Mike Thornton can beat the Conservatives in this campaign, and cannot afford to lose by a few votes.

Give whatever you can afford today, and you’ll make all the difference.

Thank you,

Paddy

From: ADAMS, Nigel
Sent: 12 February 2013 13:08
To: ‘Paddy Ashdown’
Subject: RE: Please do this today

Dear Lord Ashdown,

Thank you so much for your email asking me to donate £25 to the Lib Dem campaign fund for the Eastleigh by-election.

I have given your appeal very serious consideration and decided that on balance, a donation to the speeding awareness charity BRAKE is a more appropriate donation to make at this time and I have duly done so.

Thanks again for getting in touch and the best of luck in your campaign.

Nigel Adams MP
Conservative Member of Parliament for Selby and Ainsty

Gloves? What gloves. Broom broom!

Eastleigh Tory's Local Knowledge

By-election rule no.1: when fighting a strong local candidate, don’t copy the section about the constituency on your website from Wikipedia.

H/T @BillyKenber

Joke Candidate: John O'Farrell Tipped to Fight Eastleigh

jof-on-hignfy

Ed MIliband says he wants more working class people and people with an armed forces background to stand for parliament, so the Eastleigh by-election is the first opportunity for Labour to choose someone from that kind of background. Yet Labour heavyweights seem to be swinging behind John O’Farrell, who is about as much of a Labour luvvie as you can get. O’Farrell first appeared on the West End stage when he was 10 years old, writes novels and does comedy for the BBC. He wrote a book with the title Things Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter, 1979-1997.

The man who reputedly invented the grey John Major spitting image character also wrote the jokes for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He seems serious about standing, he has stood unsuccessfully for Labour before in 2001. The Labour glitterati are backing him and he has already started campaigning in the constituency. Polly Toynbee has publicly endorsed his candidature and says she will work for his election. “Up the workers!”

Ashcroft Eastleigh Poll Says Game On

Source: Guardian.

Labour Cannot Find a Candidate for Eastleigh Selection Process Open to All Members

John Denham has emailed all Labour Party members asking them if they would like to be the party’s no-hope candidate in Eastleigh:

“As I’m sure you’ve already heard, following Chris Huhne’s resigation we’ll be fighting a by-election in Eastleigh. There are only three weeks until polling day on 28 February. There’s a lot to do in the meantime but Labour Party members like you have achieved great results in by-elections over the last couple of years – and I know you’ll do it again. But before all that, we need a Labour candidate and I wanted to give you the opportunity to put your name forward. Apply to be Labour’s candidate in Eastleigh by emailing your CV.”

Hopefuls have until Saturday to get their name in. Apparently “If you’ve never been out campaigning before, don’t worry – there’ll be training available.” Looks like they are all but sitting this one out then…

Clegg SpAd Apologises for Cabinet Office Electioneering

The Special Adviser code states:

“19. Special advisers must not take part in national political activities, which are: holding, in a party political organisation, office which impinges wholly or mainly on party politics in the field of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly or the European Parliament…

20(ii) …if they wish to take part in a General, European or by-election campaign, or to help in a party headquarters or research unit during such a campaign, they must first resign their appointment.”

Despite this, Nick Clegg’s SpAd James McGrory launched the LibDem Eastleigh by-election campaign last night from the Cabinet Office.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Clegg SpAd McGrory Reported For Partisan Eastleigh Blunder

The gloves are off. Not only are the LibDems planning on moving the writ today for the Eastleigh by-election, but they have also fired the first real shots of the campaign. Sadly for them, those shots were firmly into their own feet.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tory Whips: Eastleigh "Will Not Be A Shoe In"

Guido has seen exchanges between the Government whips office and Tory MPs that would imply they are not expecting the Eastleigh writ to be moved for many months. Michael Fabricant, who seems to be in charge of the by-election again, reminds colleagues that the LibDems have three months to fire the starting gun.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tory Joy at Prospect of Olly Grender For Eastleigh

Word reaches Guido that former lobbyist turned Clegg Downing Street spinner Olly Grender is being discussed as the LibDem nomination for the Eastleigh by-election. She’s got competition though from Dr Tim Leunig, formerly the chief economist at the liberal wonk-shop CentreForum, and now at the DfE, who is also said to be eyeing up the seat.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Silence From Tory Eastleigh 'Candidate'

All quiet on the Eastleigh front for the 2010 PPC turned “Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Eastleigh” Maria Hutchins. Despite her seat being the top of the news agenda, she hasn’t said a word about it all day. Not even a tweet.[…]

+ READ MORE +

UKIP Hammer LibDems Across Britain

Not quite the Croydon Spring Lee Jasper promised as Labour held all three seats in last night’s by-election, but the main talking point is UKIP coming second in both Middlesbrough and Rotherham. Joyce Thacker isn’t the only reason voters are flocking to Farage’s party.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Haemorrhaging Votes to UKIP in Rotherham

Outside of the Leveson bubble there are some actual, real, political events also going on today. Perhaps most interestingly the by-election in Rotherham. Labour’s nerves are reaching a crescendo, and not just due to the prospect of the Homeland candidate splitting the left-wing vote.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Orders Whole HQ to Rotherham

The pressure on Labour’s struggling Rotherham campaign has clearly not let up. Orders went out yesterday evening for HQ staff to completely decamp to the seat:

Where possible I want as many staff from our London head office to try and help in Rotherham.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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