Lord Oakeshott Wears a Red Rosette

Knocking on doors in Thurrock yesterday alongside Labour’s candidate Polly Billington: ‘independent’ former LibDem peer Lord Oakeshott. Complete with red rosette. Making it official…

UPDATE: Local UKIP opponent Tim Aker is quick to pile in: “Labour’s campaign in Thurrock seems to amount to drafting in London activists and LibDem millionaires”

Citizens Advice Bureau Tries to Keep “Perception of Neutrality”

How do left-wing charities stuffed full of Labour apparatchiks try to mask their political allegiances? Leaked emails from the Citizens Advice Bureau reveal former Miliband aide and Labour candidate Polly ‘parachute’ Billington has been moved from the front line so “she can focus on her personal political activities“, and so that the “perception of our political neutrality” is “maintained”.

Meanwhile, the charity has just hired the Resolution Foundation’s James Plunkett as its new head of campaigns. That would be the same James Plunkett who used to work for Gordon Brown and who has written a string of articles for the Guardian laying into the Tories and “the cuts”. Wonder how they will maintain his “perception of political neutrality”…

PFI Polly’s Paper Pitch Picked Apart By UKIP

Labour parachuted Miliband aide Polly Billington down to Thurrock with the expectation she would take the seat from the Tories, but the carpet-bagging candidate’s campaign is going from bad to worse. Not only is she trailing UKIP’s Tim Aker in the Ashcroft constituency polling, not only were Labour well behind UKIP in a recent local council by-election, now Billington is losing the student vote. “I don’t need to consult a folder to tell you what I believe in,” said Aker during today’s debate at a local college, skewering Polly on Labour’s PFI shocker after she spent two minutes reading attack lines from her notes about UKIP privatising the NHS. No doubt as to who the room preferred – the Thurrock Gazette reports “student support for UKIP and Mr Aker at the event appeared strong”. If Polly can’t even convince Thurrock’s students to vote for her…

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The Guardian’s election editorial urges voters to back Labour with the compelling argument:

“The pain and hurt within the Jewish community, and the damage to Labour, are undeniable and shaming. Yet Labour remains indispensable to progressive politics.”

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