31 thoughts on “Rupert Murdoch paid British Blairite Danczuk to attack Labour party

  1. Tuesday 5th December 2015

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    DISGRACED MP Simon Danczuk faced demands to quit Parliament yesterday as a former partner spoke out about his drink problem.

    Around 30 Rochdale residents demonstrated outside his constituency office, holding placards saying: “It’s time to go Simon. Rochdale has suffered enough!”

    Hitting back in a statement, Mr Danczuk branded the group, which included local Labour Party members, an “opportunistic and politically motivated mob.”

    “This protest has been organised by my political opponents, who have formed a bizarre alliance in an attempt to use problems in my personal life as an excuse to try and intimidate me into resigning,” he claimed.

    The protest took place after Claire Hamilton, a Labour councillor who dated Mr Danczuk for three months, lifted the lid on the MP’s “nasty” side.

    Ms Hamilton, who dumped Mr Danczuk at Christmas, told the BBC: “Simon hasn’t got a stop button when he starts to drink. He will just keep consuming. If it’s there, he’ll drink it.

    “He can be a very charming, funny, lovely person, and then sometimes when he’s had a drink and he was stressed he would be very nasty and grumpy and someone you wouldn’t want to be around.

    “It was getting harder and harder to be in the relationship, to the point that when he did confess to texting a teenage girl, it was definitely over. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I knew there was no going back to him.”

    She spoke out a day after Mr Danczuk’s first wife, Sonia Rossington, alleged that he would drink a bottle of whisky a night and have sex with her while she was asleep.

    Mr Danczuk, who has been suspended from the Labour Party, has also admitted sending sexually explicit text messages to a then 17-year-old constituent who had contacted him about a job.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-2201-Danczuk-told-to-quit-as-ex-tells-of-his-drink-problem#.VouRDlLTcdU

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  3. Saturday 9th January 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    One of the most disturbing aspects of this sordid case is how leering, jeering journos failed to identify sexual abuse, believes ANN CZERNIK

    THE Sun called the Simon Danczuk drama “hilarious” and the Spectator termed it “a spankingly splendid scandal.” It’s all a bit of a laugh.

    It looked like another episode of Carry On politics. But the allegations that the MP abused his position in his “sext” (sexual texting) relationship with 17-year-old Sophena Houlihan and further claims that he had “unwanted sex” with his first wife Sonia Rossington while she was asleep are no laughing matter.

    Danczuk has been suspended by the Labour Party pending an inquiry. He has apologised unreservedly for the sext affair but denies Rossington’s allegations as “malicious and untrue.”

    Katie Russell of Rape Crisis says: “Unwanted sex is not a legal term and not one that we would recognise. Sex that isn’t wanted by both parties is usually sexual violence, sexual assault or rape.”

    The definition of consent in law has been enshrined there for 12 years — since the Sexual Offences Act 2003 expanded and defined the concept of consent. Russell explains: “Consent must be fully and freely given by someone who has the capacity to do so. Someone who is asleep, someone who is afraid for their life, someone who is being exploited [or] coerced or controlled in some way — they don’t have the freedom and capacity to make the choice to actively consent to sex.”

    Rossington’s story was initially presented as a sleaze story until Greater Manchester Police announced that they were to investigate the claims. It seems that no-one recognised that what Rossington had described was rape.

    Russell said: “Society fundamentally misunderstands sexual violence. It is not caused by uncontrollable sexual desire. That’s not it’s basis. It’s basis is power, control and entitlement. It’s lack of respect on the part of the perpetrator for the victim.”

    Rossington was denied the privacy or understanding that might, or at least should, be afforded to an alleged rape victim. Instead of retreating quietly to let police reach a conclusion as to the truth of the allegations, the Sun revealed that she advertised herself on a sex website and published depressing images of Rossington in bondage.

    The implication was that such a woman could not possibly be sexually abused by her husband.

    The Sun claimed that Rossington was allegedly paid for group romps at hotels and at her home but the images show a seemingly unwilling, subdued woman with little enthusiasm for the whip in her hand.

    Rossington responded saying that Danczuk leaked intimate pictures taken during their marriage.

    Danczuk told the Morning Star that he “does not have any intimate pictures of Ms Rossington” and any photographs that have been published in the media recently have been taken well after he split from her. If that is the case, her apparent status as a sex worker is not really relevant to allegations of sexual assault and abuse during an earlier part of her life.

    Suddenly the Sun’s hilarious account is not quite so entertaining but a sickening and needless character assasination of an alleged rape victim. Unlike Danczuk, Rossington does not hold public office. Her sexual conduct is a private matter. In contrast, three women are claiming that Danczuk’s bullying and abusive behaviour renders him unfit to serve as an MP — yet the media focus has been on the sexual conduct and character of the women involved.

    The Danczuk drama began when Labour councillor Claire Hamilton dumped him after discovering he had asked the teenage Houlihan if she wanted “spanking” during a drunken late-night sext session. Danczuk claims that he conversed with Houlihan over social media for some months about her ambition to obtain a position in his office.

    It’s not clear if the MP knew Houlihan had been working as “dominatrix” since the age of 16 but when the tabloids found out, provocative pictures found on the teenager’s website were splayed all over the pages.

    No longer an innocent but instead a calculating temptress, Houlihan was “fair game.”

    Danczuk then suggested Houlihan would receive payment if she would meet with him to pose together for the cameras. The Sun reported that the MP said the meeting would help him. The teenager declined the disgraced MP’s offer to take part in a media stunt saying: “I couldn’t believe he was trying to arrange a meeting with me — and told me I’d make a few quid. What an insult.”

    Russell believes that “if Houlihan had been an escort or whatever terminology they want to use and she was still in education, and Danczuk had been teaching at her school or college, even if he was not teaching her directly, we would all be fully accepting that it would be outrageously inappropriate, and a sackable offence for him to engage in any kind of sexual language or relationship with that student. For a Member of Parliament, it’s the same situation. It’s no excuse really, and it’s no defence.”

    Danczuk bizarrely explained his relationship with Houlihan to the BBC, saying that “younger women are my Achilles heel. My first wife was 10 years younger than me, my second wife was 17 years younger, my last girlfriend is 17 years younger. Some men like older women, some like younger women, some like brunettes, some like blondes.” I asked Danczuk what it was that attracted him to younger women but he declined to comment.

    Danczuk called himself a silly old fool, and everyone largely bought into the stereotype of a drunken lonely troubled man who succumbed to temptation.

    Ex-partner Karen Danczuck flew to his defence, telling the BBC: “He’d been out, he was on his own, he was in Spain. He had had too much to drink and you then had a woman — and lets not forget at 17 she is a woman — I know she’s young but at 16 it’s consenting adults as far as I’m concerned. That’s why we have the law in this country. She instigated this sexual conversation and he fell for it. It only happened once, it wasn’t over a long period of time. We have all done it. We have all had too much to drink and drunkenly text [sic] an ex or the woman in the office that we might like, we have all done that. In Simon’s case, he’s in the public eye and he does realise that he completely messed up. “

    Russell says the discourse of sexual violence means that “we minimise the behaviours of mainly white, middle-aged heterosexual men and we absolve them of responsibility. Just because we have accepted inequality, sexism and abuse in the past, and to a degree still do, doesn’t mean it’s OK.”

    Karen Gray has campaigned for over 20 years for recognition of organised child abuse within Britain’s care homes and told the Star that survivors are disgusted with the Danczuk drama.

    “We need and we expected people who were standing for us to be at least respectable and responsible and not tarred with the same brush as those who they are chasing. A child is defined as a person under 18. Sophena Houlihan was 17, she was still a child. The issues are power and control,” Gray said.

    She asked another question that escaped mainstream media: “Why was this child already so sexualised that she thought it appropriate to set up a business as a dominatrix aged 16?”

    The way that Houlihan has been portrayed by the Danczuks and within mainstream media has also been criticised by Rape Crisis.

    Russell said: “Those are the same arguments that the criminal justice agencies use to excuse themselves from taking any responsibility for the well being of vulnerable children in Rochdale, Rotherham and Oxfordshire. It’s going back to the idea that a child can choose a life of prostitution. The law doesn’t work like that and neither does our sense of common decency.

    “Yes, a 16-year-old is at the age of sexual consent but we all recognise that between the age of 16 and 18 a person is still a child. People in positions of responsibility have a duty towards those children, protecting them and not adding or colluding or being part of the problem and being part of their abuse.”

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-3f39-Rape-by-any-other-name-How-the-Danczuk-drama-exposes-media-misogyny#.VpEGflJtdSE

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  4. Monday 11th January 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    YESTERDAY saw the resignation of yet another Labour MP nobody had really heard of, Alison McGovern, from a child poverty policy review group that she hadn’t even started yet.

    The trigger for this was John McDonnell referring to Progress, of which McGovern is the chair, as a “right-wing clique within the Labour Party,” which is probably the mildest comment the shadow chancellor has made about Blair’s heirs in his entire parliamentary career.

    The predictable and usual narrative from the bourgeois media followed of a Labour Party “in crisis,” almost as if they’d been waiting for another opportunity to regurgitate the same op-ed pieces they’ve been running every weekend for the last four months.

    Lord Falconer’s insistence on the Andrew Marr show that we need an “effective opposition” belies the fact that we’ve had one for the last four months that has been continually hamstrung by right-wing Labour MPs on the front and back benches running to the media to contradict and undermine the Labour leadership.

    This conscious attempt to keep the debate away from issues that affect ordinary working people is more than just editorial laziness or an unhealthy interest in “palace intrigue” but central to the strategy of the ruling class.

    David Cameron’s performance at PMQs this week was a stark example of how the debate is shifted away from his deeply unpopular policies that only serve the privileged and powerful to this narrative. His refusal to acknowledge the human misery that has been wrought across vast swathes of the country by flooding in the West Country, Wales, northern England and Scotland is indicative of Tory indifference to ordinary people.

    Cuts to already overstretched emergency services, the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs from the Environment Agency last summer, the year-on-year culling of spending on flood defences — including denying funding for local flood protection schemes in Leeds, Keswick and Kendal — and giving the statutory duty to the fire service were batted away or just simply ignored amid a welter of pointless remarks about Labour’s internal affairs.

    Cameron should know about that sort of thing. Two-thirds of Tory MPs are reported to be unhappy with his EU negotiations to the extent of voting to leave if a free vote of MPs were permitted.

    We need to recognise and tackle the effects of global warming. Taking responsibility for river dredging back into public hands rather than leaving it in the hands of individual landowners, creating inconsistent river flows, is now vital. Scrapping incentives for farmers that encourage the felling of trees and hedges would drastically reduce the impact of future flooding. Leaving them standing would prevent millions of tons of soil and billions of gallons of water going into rivers each year.

    The Tory government is vulnerable. It pushing deeply unpopular and damaging policies, and the looming EU referendum will cause party divisions. David Davis claims that up to half the Tories in Parliament may openly campaign to leave, whatever the whips say.

    Perhaps it is finally dawning on those within the Parliamentary Labour Party who have either subtly or not-so-subtly refused to accept the mandate handed to Jeremy Corbyn that it is time to start focusing on attacking the government and the immense problems Britain’s people face.

    This is now a pressing need, not because the career prospects of MPs but because cuts to vital services of all kinds cost and destroy lives. Every section of the labour movement must continue to remind Labour MPs what their job is and who the real enemy is.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-821b-Dont-forget-the-real-foes#.VpPS81JtdSE

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  7. Saturday 16th January 2016

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    Hamilton will testify in person to make sure Danczuk is kicked out of the Labour Party

    THE former partner of Simon Danczuk demanded yesterday that the disgraced MP be expelled from the Labour Party.

    Claire Hamilton, the Labour councillor who dated Mr Danczuk for three months last year, has spoken out over of his “disgusting” private behaviour and “quite extreme” political beliefs.

    And she says that her first-hand evidence should be heard by Labour’s internal investigation into the Rochdale MP’s conduct.

    In an interview with the Morning Star, she said: “I don’t think it would be fair for Simon just to go and talk his way out of it.

    “I think it needs to be a full hearing about what he’s been up to.

    “As a member of the Labour Party, I’m willing to give evidence in person. I’m quite disgusted at what he’s been doing.

    “In any other profession, there would be repercussions for that kind of behaviour — it shouldn’t be different just because he’s an MP.”

    Ms Hamilton dumped Mr Danczuk when she discovered the lewd text messages he had sent to teenager Sophena Houlihan, which led to the MP’s suspension from the Labour Party on New Year’s Eve.

    Ms Hamilton says her relationship with the MP was also put under strain by frequent clashes over his right-wing positions, which include support for rail privatisation and fox hunting.

    During one row, she told Mr Danczuk: “I don’t understand how you can be in the Labour Party.”

    He allegedly replied: “Because they asked me first.”

    The MP’s agent, Rochdale Councillor Allen Brett, also recently gave him a “bollocking” after receiving over 100 complaints from local party members about his conduct, according to Ms Hamilton.

    A spokesman for Mr Danczuk hit back at the claims, saying: “Simon has been involved with the trade union movement and the Labour Party since the 1980s.

    “Any suggestion he would even consider joining another party is unfounded and completely lacking in credibility.

    “Simon has the full support of the local party.”

    But the Star understands that some Rochdale Labour councillors are furious that the MP is bringing the party and town into disrepute and will discuss his conduct at their group meeting on Monday evening.

    One councillor said: “I’m not the biggest fan of Simon Danczuk. I don’t agree with attacking the party through the press. I just despair at times.

    “Jeremy Corbyn is the democratically elected leader and MPs should respect that.”

    A Labour Party spokeswoman said the party would not comment on its internal inquiry while a police investigation into separate rape allegations against Mr Danczuk are ongoing.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-78e6-Danczuk-ex-disgusting-MP-needs-to-be-booted#.VpoaQlJrgdU

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  8. Saturday 16th January 2016

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    SIMON DANCZUK only started attending Parliamentary Labour Party meetings to “pick up gossip” for his lucrative work with right-wing media outlets, according to his former girlfriend.

    The latest register of MPs’ interest shows that the Rochdale MP made £32,484 from writing and contributing articles for the Mail group and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

    And despite pocketing the cash Mr Danczuk does not even write the articles himself, according to Claire Hamilton.

    Giving an insight into his previously cosy relationship with the rightwing press, she told the Star: “His aide rings up the papers and asks what they would like the column on.

    “Simon then goes around Parliament trying to pick up gossip, including at the Parliamentary Labour Party.

    “He told me that prior to (Jeremy) Corbyn becoming leader he would never attend the PLP meetings because it was too boring. Now he goes to see if can get some stuff for the column.”

    An analysis of the articles shows Mr Danczuk made over £4,000 from attacking his own party leader.

    But Ms Hamilton revealed: “he doesn’t dislike Jeremy as much as he makes out. His columns are mostly about Simon and making money for Simon.

    “Jeremy Corbyn is ideologically driven. Simon is Simon driven. That’s the difference.”

    The Labour councillor believes the Mail and Sun turned on Danczuk partly because he engineered a bidding war between them for his articles.

    According to her, this “upset the Mail quite a bit because they thought they had someone guaranteed to criticise Corbyn every week.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-d205-He-only-went-to-PLP-meetings-for-gossip#.Vpp4VVJrgdU

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    • Wednesday 20th January 2016

      posted by Ben Chacko in Britain

      As a reader-owned co-operative, the Morning Star is acutely aware that the paper belongs to you and welcomes your feedback.

      We’ve had a number of responses, both positive and negative, regarding our decision to run an interview with Simon Danczuk’s former girlfriend Claire Hamilton. Since the issue has been controversial I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain our reasoning here in the newsroom.

      Some readers felt that the interview was an attempt to mimic the celebrity tittle-tattle that dominates the red-top tabloids. The Morning Star has always avoided spreading personal gossip, which tends to promote individualist and consumer culture rather than the collectivist and socialist vision at the heart of our politics.

      Others were worried that we might have squandered precious funds on securing the exclusive, and a few enjoyed the article itself but felt the front-page teaser “I dated disgusting Danczuk” was inappropriate and misleading.

      I can clarify that Ms Hamilton approached the Morning Star with her story, and did not request or receive any payment for it — for which we are grateful, since she could certainly have sold it to a mainstream newspaper.

      She did so because she felt other newspapers would only be interested in anecdotes about Mr Danczuk’s private life, while she felt it was important to inform people about his politics.

      Mr Danczuk describes himself as a “moderate” Labour MP who attacks party leader Jeremy Corbyn because he sees Mr Corbyn’s views as extremist.

      Ms Hamilton was able to reveal Mr Danczuk’s support for private-sector involvement in the NHS and for fox-hunting, among other views which undermine his claims to be a moderate and to speak for mainstream Labour Party opinion.

      She described his politics as “disgusting,” hence the wording of our front-page teaser — which was intended to be mischievous rather than misleading. But we’re happy to accept our judgement is not infallible and readers may feel the wording should have more accurately represented the actual interview.

      http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-b9a1-EDITORS-STATEMENT-ON-THE-WEEKEND-EDITION#.Vp_em1JrgdU

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  9. Monday 18th January 2016

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    DISGRACED MP Simon Danczuk was advised this weekend keep his “mouth shut” over the sex-text scandal that brought his suspension from the Labour Party.

    The Rochdale MP was suspended on New Year’s Eve when it emerged that he had sent lewd messages to a 17-year-old who contacted him about a job.

    In a letter to Labour general secretary Iain McNicol, his lawyers threatened action unless the party spelt out within the next three days what rules had been broken. It claimed that the suspension was damaging the reputation of the MP, who is also subject to a police investigation into allegations of rape.

    Mr Danczuk has demanded that Ken Livingstone play no role in the national executive council’s investigation, claiming that previous comments had prejudiced his impartiality.

    Hitting back, Mr Livingstone said he would be “quite happy” to play no role in the inquiry, saying: “I have to say the high point of my life isn’t investigating other people’s sex lives.”

    He criticised Mr Danczuk for double standards, saying that the MP never raised objections when “good left-wingers were being thrown out of the party in the Blair era.”

    And Mr Livingstone told LBC Radio: “I think all these threats of legal action are making it worse. If he’s worried about damaging publicity the best thing to do is just keep your mouth shut and let it all go a bit quiet.

    “I think Simon should just calm down.”

    Mr Danczuk’s former girlfriend Claire Hamilton has told the Star that she is willing to give evidence of the MP’s “disgusting” behaviour and “quite extreme” political views to a Labour inquiry.

    Labour has suspended its internal investigation pending the outcome of the police rape inquiry.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-8a89-Danczuk-best-advised-to-shut-up-Livingstone#.VpzexVJrgdU

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  10. Monday 25th January 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    “UNLESS Labour really listens to those people it must persuade, it stands no chance of winning the next election.” So says party pollster Deborah Mattinson, and who could disagree?

    Unfortunately, Mattinson and the handful of MPs pouncing on her dismissal of Margaret Beckett’s report into reasons for Labour’s election defeat are the ones with their hands over their ears.

    Former foreign secretary Beckett is not a Corbyn supporter. She openly regretted nominating him when it became evident he had a chance of winning the leadership, and she voted with David Cameron to bomb Syria. She had no motive to “whitewash” the report into Labour’s election defeat — and she didn’t. Mattinson says key issues were that Labour was not trusted on the economy and voters didn’t see Ed Miliband as Prime Minister.

    If Beckett downplayed the latter it would hardly be a problem. In fact few prime ministers are seen as prime ministerial before they occupy the office — “novice” and “lightweight” were among the commonest terms used of David Cameron before 2010 — and anyway Miliband is no longer the leader.

    The lack of trust on the economy Beckett’s report acknowledged. But it failed to satisfy the right because rather than leap to the Blairite conclusion, that the way to win that trust was to ape Conservative Party policies, it tried to dig a bit deeper.

    Labour’s most popular policies were its most leftwing ones, such as raising taxes on the richest, capping energy bills and rents and tip-toeing towards public ownership. Abandoning all those policies would be a suicidal approach to winning back voters. A majority even of Tory voters support renationalising the railways. You’re not going to lure them back by ditching the only parts of your programme they like.

    Beckett’s conclusions were well-founded — that Labour suffered from an incoherent economic policy which left voters confused and an obsessive caution about promising any action on anything which left them uninspired.

    The Blairite obsession with the “centre-ground” may have worked in the 1990s, but Britain is now a very different place.

    The economic crash has decisively discredited the idea that the market will deliver universal prosperity. Workers are thousands of pounds a year worse off in real terms than they were in 2008. Poverty is rising fast and the fortunes of the richest have ballooned over the last five years. This is an increasingly polarised country.

    The Lib Dem wipeout last year showed the aptness of Nye Bevan’s immortal observation: “We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.”

    The Establishment will not let Corbyn’s Labour win in the conventional way. But triangulation, that fancy term for nicking Tory policies, will not deliver victory again. It worked when Labour’s core vote stayed solid. But that core vote shrank by five million votes between 1997 and 2010 as the nature of the Blairite project became clear.

    If Labour is to win at all, it will be by building a mass movement. The Tories are ripping the heart out of local government and the NHS; services are shutting down. All over Britain these issues affect Conservative and SNP voters as well as Labour ones. Labour must relocalise. It must become the champion of keeping the local library, swimming pool or youth centre open, of fending off private-sector bids for NHS contracts.

    This is a task for local People’s Assemblies, Momentum groups and constituency Labour parties, campaigning on the streets. In the process it will sink roots in communities — and it will win over the voters of other parties too.

    Odd though it may seem, those who vote Tory are not in favour of their local services being gutted any more than those who vote Labour are.

    And personal contact with party activists who are playing a visible role in the community is far more likely to win trust than any number of corporate policy announcements or anti-immigration mugs.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-7276-Tawdry-truth-hits-home#.Vqc64lLa44A

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  12. Tuesday 2nd Februay 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    by Our News Desk

    DISGRACED Simon Danczuk was hit by another scandal yesterday when Parliament’s expenses watchdog put him under investigation.

    The Rochdale MP has already been suspended by the Labour Party over sex texts he sent to a teenager and is under a separate police probe over historic rape allegations.

    Now expenses watchdog Ipsa is investigating a public complaint that he abused the accommodation allowance for MPs with children.

    Ipsa allows MPs to claim an extra £2,425 a year towards accommodation costs for each “dependent [they] care for” that “routinely lives” with an MP.

    The system gives them scope to rent a flat with more than one bedroom, and means they can “maintain contact with their families during the course of their parliamentary work,” according to the watchdog.

    Mr Danczuk has two children with first wife Sonia Rossington, and two more with second wife Karen Danczuk.

    But he has allegedly received thousands of pounds to have his children stay with him in London — even though they hardly ever visit.

    His 18-year-old son George told the Rochdale Online website last week that he stayed with his father in London just once, in February 2012.

    In a statement, Mr Danczuk said: “My original claim was made properly and based on my honest interpretation of the Ipsa regulations.

    “I maintain that the existing rules are poorly worded and not fit for purpose when it comes to modern families like mine.

    “Some of my parliamentary colleagues have approached me in the last week to say they agree with me on this point and that they have interpreted the rules the same way.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-c321-Watchdog-probes-Danczuk-for-fiddling-kids-expenses#.VrDrw-ZrgdU

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  14. Monday 15th February 2016

    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    BLAIRITE pressure group Progress is just a “business version of the Militant tendency,” Ken Livingstone has said.
    The former London mayor, who is seeking re-election to Labour’s national executive (NEC), said the left slate on which he is standing has a realistic chance of taking all six seats up for grabs this year.

    He told the Star in an interview that the election will be crucial in determining whether Jeremy Corbyn can reform Labour’s policy-making processes.

    “The changes are going to be bitterly resisted by Progress and the far right of the Labour Party, but I think we’ll win them, we’ll get back to [where] Labour conference determines where we’re going, not this national policy forum Blair established,” Mr Livingstone said.

    He said the left-wing candidates for the executive were up against “a hard-line Progress slate.”

    The veteran leftwinger added: “We’ve got to really get across to people that Progress, in a way, was a business version of the Militant tendency, a secret organisation funded by Lord Sainsbury.

    “What Progress did was help create a Labour Party that just became a supplicant to the corporates.

    “I’m optimistic we will win all six seats, which would be a big shift on the NEC.”

    Mr Livingstone also revealed that he is now co-chairing Labour’s foreign policy commission with shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn.

    He was initially due to share the role with former shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle, who was said to believe that Mr Livingstone’s appointment undermined her position at the head of a review of Labour’s policy on nuclear weapons.

    Ms Eagle was then replaced by anti-nuclear weapons MP Emily Thornberry.

    “We went out the following week for lunch … and I said: ‘Look, you and I don’t disagree about anything. There’s no point having this joint thing. You should lead on it’,” Mr Livingstone told the Star.

    “And that took about a week, and then Seumas [Milne, Labour’s head of strategy and communications] said [Thornberry’s] going to do this thing on defence and Trident, and that will then come up to, I mean, you’ll still be co-chair but we’ll get Hilary Benn in.

    “You went in the space of about one month of having me and Maria to having me and Emily and then me and Hilary. I’m the only consistent stability in all of that.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-0e78-Livingstone-lays-into-Blairites-Progress#.VsGT_OZrgdU

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  15. Monday 15th February 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    A LABOUR leftwinger and supporter of Jeremy Corbyn has been selected as the party’s candidate for mayor of Salford, writes Peter Lazenby.

    Paul Dennet, who is currently a Salford councillor, was supported by all the city’s Labour-affiliated trade unions, gaining 311 votes to the 111 and 98 votes picked by his two rivals.

    Cllr Dennett, a member of Unite, has worked behind the bar at his parents’ pub, in a call centre and, more recently, as a lecturer.

    Speaking to the Morning Star, he argued that Mr Corbyn’s “clear socialist beliefs” would boost his election campaign.

    He said: “This conviction gives us the opportunity to present a real alternative to the economic orthodoxy of the past decade. “The market is not necessarily the best mechanism to provide every service.

    “Investment is what creates growth and jobs, not cuts.

    “We need to establish these principles now as our public institutions are under attack.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-d7ac-Pro-Corbyn-leftwinger-is-partys-mayor-candidate-for-Salford#.VsGUS-ZrgdU

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  17. Tuesday 1st March 2016

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    LABOUR MP Dan Jarvis has accepted a five-figure donation, fuelling suggestions yesterday that he is set to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the party leadership.

    The updated register of MPs’ interests reveals that hedge fund manager Martin Taylor gave Mr Jarvis £16,800 on February 4. The Barnsley Central MP states in the register that he will use the cash to “support my office and my work as an MP.”

    But many in Westminster believe it is part of a war chest being built by Mr Jarvis for a coup attempt against Mr Corbyn.

    The former paratrooper turned politician is the rising star of the Labour right and at 4/1 is the bookies’ second favourite, behind Hilary Benn, to be the next Labour leader.

    Peter Mandelson was among rightwingers urging Mr Jarvis to stand in last year’s leadership contest, but the widower ruled himself out for family reasons.

    In his most recent interview, he said: “I do regret that I didn’t give it more thought.”

    In January, he received £12,500 from recruitment firm chairman Peter Hearn, who gave £75,000 to Yvette Cooper in the last leadership battle.

    It has been suggested that the donation to Mr Jarvis is the first instalment of money that will be used to provide him with a political adviser.

    A source close to Mr Corbyn told the Star last night that the Labour leader’s camp were “not surprised” by the Blairite manoeuvres.

    “We know they’re going to come for Jeremy at some point,” the source said. “If they challenge, we’ll give them a good run for their money and I’m pretty confident we’ll win.”

    Mr Jarvis did not respond to a request for comment.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-520e-16,800-donation-to-Jarvis-fuels-anti-Corbyn-coup-talk#.VtbHp-ZrgdU

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  18. DISGRACED MP Simon Danczuk was among dozens of politicians having their Commons credit cards blocked after raking up to £27,000 on expenses, it was revealed yesterday.

    Mr Danczuk was listed alongside former Labour minister Liam Byrne and Tory backbencher David Morris with debts of nearly £600, £1,200 and £12,240 respectively.

    Five SNP members, including Westminster leader Angus Robertson, were among those targeted by Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).

    The watchdog’s chief executive Marcial Boo said: “I am obviously very sorry that it has cost a lot of goodwill.

    “But it is part of the role that we have to make sure that payments that we make are supported by evidence.

    “As soon as MPs provide us with that evidence the card is turned back on again.

    “We cannot allow ourselves to be in a position where an MP is making thousands of pounds of payments on a card and failing to give us evidence to support that payment, without taking any action.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-4895-MPs-have-Commons-credit-cards-blocked#.VtsiTeZtc4A

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