Yorkshire and the Humber Labour Party have declared open war on the hard left, after one of their own councillors, Tony Randerson, resigned from the Party and the Council… before deciding to un-resign and fight in the by-election he just caused, this time standing for the “Social Justice Party”.
Randerson resigned over “contempt” shown to the socialists in the local ranks, claiming “only right-wing yes people are now acceptable to fly the flag for Scarborough and Whitby”. He regretted it, and the by-election is costing the taxpayer around £8,000.
Now Labour are running online attack ads slamming Randerson as a “hard left independent… wasting your cash”. For some reason they’ve used dollar bills in the image. By sheer coincidence, this is the same ward Extinction Rebellion activist Theresa Norton used to represent. Is there something in the water over there?
Not content with sticking to gutter politics, Labour have now sunk further into the sewer. Clearly with local elections in mind, the party has taken to stepping up their attack ads, now targeting the Conservative party’s record on sewage. They’re promoting – ie. paying for – targeted local advertising on Facebook and Instagram attacking Tory MPs, many of whom aren’t even in government. Johnny Mercer, Brendan Clarke-Smith, Lee Anderson and Graham Brady were amongst those singled-out. By Guido’s count at least 67 Conservatives are in the splash zone.
What makes Labour’s latest offensive even more dirty is the ads aren’t even true. They started running yesterday and claim “your Tory MP… voted against Labour’s plan to end the Tory sewage scandal”. They even cite the House of Commons Library. The trouble is, Tory MPs didn’t vote against Labour’s sewage plan. In the Commons yesterday, the Conservatives amended Labour’s opposition day motion and successfully passed their own sewage plan. Labour abstained on their own motion.
Labour have clearly forked out significant funds on the ads, so either their campaigns team didn’t want it to go to waste, or they just weren’t plugged into parliamentary events. Sir Robert Goodwill was one of the MPs targeted, he told Guido:
“[the ads] clearly misrepresent what the government is doing on sewage. It clearly misrepresents what Labour did in divisions yesterday. It was the Conservatives who voted for the reduction of sewage discharge.”
This isn’t the way to clean up politics.
UPDATE: Since Guido’s fact check went to pixel this morning, Labour have deactivated their mudslinging campaign.
Labour’s descent into gutter politics is still causing splash-back. On Peston last night, John McDonnell didn’t hold back over the Sunak attacks. The former Shadow Chancellor argued “you never go for the person in this individual way… it’s unacceptable”, before appealing to Nandy personally – “you’re better than this”. This didn’t go down well with Lisa, who hit back that she would “not take lessons from you about civility in politics”. McDonnell has never apologised for endorsing the lynching Esther McVey….
McDonnell then restated his case:
“You don’t do this. This is not Labour politics. We’re better than this”.
Steve Reed last night spoke out on Labour’s discredited attack ad – claiming Rishi Sunak does not want to lock up convicted paedophiles – on the News Agents podcast. He confirmed that he and his team provided the figures used and saw it before it went out, though the actual ad was created by Labour’s central office. He also said that Sir Keir was aware it was going out. When probed on the merits of the campaign, Steve said:
“I think it’s wholly legitimate. I think it’s part of politics to hold leaders to account for what they’ve done. The leader of the Conservative Party is accountable for the behaviour of the Conservative government that’s been in power for 13 years. I think it’s important that we explain to voters – to the public – what the government is doing wrong”.
Guido isn’t so sure he would consider blaming a person who was, at the time, working in a California hedge fund, over someone responsible for the sentencing decisions in question is “wholly legitimate”…
Steve’s defence of his ads comes as today’s papers report on Labour’s internal delight at their descent into “gutter politics” – to quote Lord Blunkett. The i runs with a Labour source praising the impact of the ads, whilst The Times quotes a senior Labour source calling the campaign a “triumph” as “we’ve spent a week not talking about boats, not talking about trans”. Just don’t ask Yvette…
Overnight condemnation of the Labour Party’s attack advert blaming Rishi Sunak for the soft on paedophiles sentencing guidelines that have seen 4,500 adults convicted of child sex offences walk out of court has come from all sides. Rishi was not even an MP when those guidelines were put in place and has had no ministerial responsibilities in that area since 2015. The logic of the attack line is flawed.
Someone who did have some responsibility is the then Director of Public Prosecutions who sat on the Sentencing Council, his name is highlighted below in yellow.
Sentencing rules are set by the Sentencing Council and prosecuting rules set by the Crown Prosecution Service. Both set their current rules for sexual assault of children in 2013. The head of the Crown Prosecution Service sat on the Sentencing Council in 2013. It was “Sir Softie” Keir Starmer himself…
As of this morning, Labour is still running a Facebook ad campaign against Christian Wakeford – despite the Bury South MP joining Labour’s own benches on Wednesday. The campaign, which encourages Bury South constituents to “email your Tory MP Christian Wakeford to tell Boris Johnson to resign“, was first listed on 13th January, and is still visible to users living in Wakeford’s home turf. Quite an oversight given Wakeford had – supposedly – been in talks with Labour for months…
Of course, Labour aren’t the only ones playing catch-up with their own exciting news. Wakeford himself still hasn’t updated his personal Facebook page either: the cover image still proudly displays the Conservative logo and branding…