Labour MP Asks Speaker if They Can Get Away With Not Declaring Their RMT Donations in the Commons

Sometimes Labour MPs make it very obvious why their party hasn’t had the political nous to win a general election in 17 years. Yesterday afternoon Labour York MP Rachael Maskell stood up to ask a point of order, after Grant Shapps had spent an hour having fun pointing out all the Labour MPs who stood up to ask questions in defence of the strikes, without declaring their interests after pocketing thousands from the RMT Union. Following the question session Maskell stood up to complain to the deputy speaker that this was very unfair:

“You will know, Madam Deputy Speaker, that many members of the Labour party have a relationship with the trade unions that we are incredibly proud of, including with the RMT. The advice that I received from the Standards Commissioner ahead of that debate, and therefore ahead of today, stated under the requirements for declaration:

“Members are required, subject to the paragraphs below, to declare any financial interests which satisfy the test of relevance, including:

a) past financial interests (normally limited to those active within the last twelve months)”.

It is my recollection that the general election was two and a half years ago, so can you advise, Madam Deputy Speaker, on whether a declaration in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests should keep being raised two and a half years after it has been made?”

To paraphrase Eleanor Laing’s no-nonsense response, she told MPs to present the whole truth when representing their union paymasters, not just try and get away without a declaration because of a small technicality in the members’ rule book. A cracking misjudged intervention from Maskell all round…

mdi-timer 21 June 2022 @ 10:35 21 Jun 2022 @ 10:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Wes Streeting Confirms Starmer Experienced Only Resignation Last Night

Boris’s whopping 99 rebellion last night had only one silver lining – none of the 10 PPSs on resignation watch quit their jobs over the vote. Yesterday afternoon, Guido joked that despite all the speculation, it looked like the person likely to suffer a front bench resignation would be Sir Keir, after York Central MP Rachel Maskell made an impassioned argument against compulsory vaccinations for NHS workers. It didn’t end up being a joke for Labour…

On Newsnight Wes Streeting confirmed she had quit her position over the vote:

“Rachael has resigned from the frontbench because she felt it important to take this stand. I don’t agree with the way she voted, but I respect her”

The only person licking their wounds more than Maskell this morning must surely be Mark Spencer…

mdi-timer 15 December 2021 @ 08:57 15 Dec 2021 @ 08:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Starmer May Be the One to End Up With Frontbench Resignations

Despite all the focus on the inevitable Tory rebellion and potential PPS resignations over tonight’s Plan B vote, it seems Starmer’s also heading for political issues. In the Commons this afternoon York MP Rachael Maskell, Shadow Minister for the Voluntary Sector and Charities, indicated she’ll be defying the Labour whip to vote against the government:

“The people we were clapping and calling our heroes… are now exhausted, traumatised and frightened and this legislation will sack them.”

Guido’s asked Labour to reiterate whether any whip-breakers will lose their front bench jobs. So far no response…

mdi-timer 14 December 2021 @ 17:33 14 Dec 2021 @ 17:33 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Dim Up North: Carpet-Bagging Unite Candidate Patronises Voters

“Eyup! Is tha’ voting Labour?” is t’slogan on’t t-shirt of woman of t’people Rachael Maskell.

Labour’s York Central candidate showed just how local she is at Bootham Crescent last weekend, home to York City FC.

Except Rachael would never say “eyup!”, because she isn’t from York.

Or even the North.

She lived in London until just a few weeks before she was parachuted in as the Unite choice ahead of several local candidates. Indeed, when she tried to get selected back home in Erith and Thamesmead in 2009, she told supporters “I stand very much as a south east London candidate”. Presumably she put on a cockney accent back then…

mdi-timer 4 May 2015 @ 11:05 4 May 2015 @ 11:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour NEC Accused of Safe Seats Stitch Up

Multiple Labour sources have accused the party’s NEC of stitching up safe seats for committee members, with Keith Vaz in the frame for fixing selections for his friends. When there is a late retirement in the run up to an election, Labour has a standard procedure where an NEC sub-committee chooses the candidates to go forward for selection. This special selections panel is usually put into place close to the election for last minute selections only, however Guido is told that this time it was implemented in January. The NEC deciding that any constituency where the MP stood down after 10 December last year not have local shortlisting powers and the NEC rather than their local party would handle the selections.  One Labour source describes this as “earlier than ever”, another as “way too early”, noting there is “still plenty of time to run proper selections”Why the change from convention?

Since the special NEC panel was set up, NEC members are mysteriously being selected for safe seats all over the place. NEC member Conor McGinn was put on the shortlist for the uber-safe seat of St. Helen’s North, winning the selection two weeks ago. McGinn represents the same division on the NEC as Vaz.

As Guido reported yesterday, NEC member and Unite agitator Rachael Maskell has just been selected in York Central in acrimonious circumstances.

Meanwhile the selection in Edmonton, where Andy Love has retired, takes place this weekend. At the moment the favourite is Kate Osamor, surprise surprise, yet another NEC member. Three NEC members put forward for safe seats just weeks after the NEC special selections panel was set up – more than a little fishy…

mdi-timer 18 February 2015 @ 07:46 18 Feb 2015 @ 07:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Unite Labour Candidate Dragged Into ‘Smear’ Scandal

Decent Labour members are kicking off in York after Unite’s NHS agitator Rachael Maskell won a bitter selection battle to inherit Hugh Bayley’s seat. Local party members say Maskell was parachuted in ahead of several local candidates, accusing her of being a Unite puppet who lived in London until only a few weeks ago. Concerns are also being raised about her alleged involvement in a “smear campaign” against her opponent in another selection, in the Erith seat in 2009. At the time the respected New Labour godfather Philip Gould claimed his 22 year-old daughter was the victim of an “outrageous and unacceptable” campaign to undermine her. Maskell was fighting for the seat with the helpful backing of Brownite bootboy Charlie Whelan. The hustings were then mysteriously called off after a ballot box was tampered with. With the Greens heavily targeting York Central, Maskell will need all the help she can get defending that 6,000 majority…

mdi-timer 17 February 2015 @ 12:20 17 Feb 2015 @ 12:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments