Two selections

Two more ward Labour parties have selected their candidates for this May’s elections; Gray Sergeant will be contesting Milton and Charles Willis will be contesting Westborough. Both are experienced campaigners who will make fine additions to the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council chamber.

Blenheim Park Labour selects!

Blenheim Park ward Labour members have selected Matthew Dent to be their candidate in May’s Southend-on-Sea Borough Council elections. Milton resident Matthew will take on Conservative Cllr James Courtenay, the only other named candidate so far, in what should be a very interesting contest.

Blenheim Park ward’s current three councillors all come from different parties. This ward often produces a very marginal outcome.

Next May sees two elections as the General Election is also scheduled for May 7th.

Matt has said: “I am delighted to have been selected by Labour members in Blenheim Park, to fight James Courtenay. The Tory administration, of which he was a key part, was roundly rejected by the voters of Southend, and the Conservatives have shown that they have no new ideas since.

“I am looking forward to speaking to local residents, listening to their concerns, and offering them a real, positive, Labour alternative to the fear and negativity offered by the Tories and UKIP.”

Matt stood in West Shoebury earlier this year.


David Cameron and George Osborne have failed every test and broken every promise they’ve made on the economy.

They promised we’d be all in this together but then they gave millionaires a huge tax cut. They promised people would be better off but most people in Southend West are not feeling the recovery and working people are now £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories.

And this cost-of-living crisis is why the Chancellor had to admit that his key promise – to balance the nation’s books by next year – now lies in tatters.

Because wages aren’t rising and too many are stuck in low-paid jobs, the tax revenues we need to get the deficit down aren’t coming in.

Unlike Labour, the Tories don’t understand the fundamental link between the living standards of everyday working people in Southend West and Britain’s ability to deal with the deficit.

George Osborne has now borrowed a staggering £219 billion more than he planned and the economy is set to slow down next year after forecasts for wages have been revised down again.

Yet the Chancellor still tries to claim that the economy is fixed and his plan is working. How out of touch can you get? What we needed this week was the better and fairer plan Labour has set out.

Labour’s plan will raise the minimum wage, expand free childcare for working parents, scrap the bedroom tax and cut business rates for small firms. We will balance the books in a fairer way, starting by reversing the Tories’ £3 billion a year tax cut for the top one per cent of earners.

Changing stamp duty to help people on middle and low incomes is welcome, but we also need to get more homes built and we need a Mansion tax to help save and transform our NHS. With an extra £2.5 billion a year on top of Tory spending plans we can get the extra 20,000 nurses and 8,000 GPs we need to help transform our NHS and save it from the Tories.

The Tories promised to eliminate the deficit by 2015 but with less money coming in because of their wrong economic decisions, they’ve broken their promise, failed their own economic test and its hardworking people who are paying the price. It’s time for an economic recovery for the many, not just a few.

Rochester and Strood – please vote for real change

This is what real change looks like

Naushabah Khan, the Labour Party candidate

Naushabah Khan, the Labour Party candidate

This is what the status quo looks like

Mark Reckless, UKIP's Tory defector

Mark Reckless, UKIP’s Tory defector

The Shadow Cabinet

Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party
Ed Miliband MP

Shadow Deputy Prime Minister, Party Chair and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Harriet Harman MP

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Ed Balls MP

Shadow Foreign Secretary and Chair of General Election Campaign (Strategy)

Douglas Alexander MP

Shadow Home Secretary
Yvette Cooper MP

Shadow Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Minister for London

Sadiq Khan MP

Opposition Chief Whip
Rosie Winterton MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Health

Andy Burnham MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
Chuka Umunna MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Rachel Reeves MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Education

Tristram Hunt MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Vernon Coaker MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Hilary Benn MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Caroline Flint MP

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and Chair of the National Policy Forum
Angela Eagle MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Michael Dugher MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Ivan Lewis MP

Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

Mary Creagh MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Margaret Curran MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Owen Smith MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Maria Eagle MP

Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
Lucy Powell MP

Shadow Minister without Portfolio and Deputy Party Chair

Jon Trickett MP

Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities

Gloria De Piero MP

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Chris Leslie MP

Shadow Leader of the House of Lords
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon

Lords Chief Whip
Lord Bassam of Brighton

Also attending Shadow Cabinet:

Shadow Minister for Care and Older People
Liz Kendall MP

Shadow Minister for Housing
Emma Reynolds

Shadow Attorney General
Emily Thornberry MP

Shadow Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
Lord Wood of Anfield

Coordinator of the Labour Party Policy Review
Jon Cruddas MP


The government like to talk about the economic recovery. This is not what people in Southend-on-Sea talk about. Instead the conversations I have are about how they are worried about their jobs, their wages and their children’s futures. Young people unable to afford to buy a house. Others have asked me why they are on zero hours contracts while some at the top seem to get away with paying zero tax.

We are seeing an increasingly unequal society; an unfair and unjust country that says ‘as long as those at the top are doing ok, our country is doing ok too’.

The Tories’ view is that low pay is the only way we can compete in the world and that insecurity is the way you make working people work harder. They believe that markets will always get the right outcome, even if that means powerful interests like energy companies and banks have all the power.

There is an alternative and the next Labour government will make it its mission to change our economy so it works for everyone and not just a privileged few at the top.

I believe that we can make a real difference in local people’s lives. With Ed Miliband as Prime Minister we will create an £8 minimum wage, ban exploitive zero hours contracts, freeze energy bills until 2017, cut business rates, create extra apprenticeships and build thousands more new homes every year.

Labour’s vision is one where everyone who works hard is rewarded and where broken markets are reformed. We want to ensure that the next generation does better than the last and that wages are protected.

Like every country round the world, Britain is susceptible to waves of change which create opportunities as well as challenges. The question is who is best to control these forces on behalf of everyday people. The answer is Labour.

PPC letter to LabourList

Earlier this afternoon I was asked whether I would like to add my name to the following letter. I did, and have, and it is now on LabourList.

To the editor,

Our country simply cannot afford another five years of an abysmal Conservative-led government. That’s why, as candidates, we’re out on the doorstep week in, week out in the towns and cities that we seek to represent, making the case for a better future under Labour.

We always knew this election would be difficult, but we also know that just four years after suffering our worst defeat since 1918, Ed Miliband has led our party to within striking distance of government.

At a time when the public are increasingly sceptical about politics and politicians we’re proud to led by a man that we know to be honest, sincere and decent. He will be a courageous, radical and reforming Prime Minister.

Ed is the only leader who understands the scale of the challenge that our deeply anxious and unequal country faces, and the only leader who has developed a radical yet credible agenda to meet it. He was the first to identify the dangers our economic malaise posed not just to the poorest but also to vast swathes of middle-income Britain. He was the first to call for a new culture of responsibility, not just among those who rely on state support but also those at the top. He was the first to highlight both the moral evil and the economic stupidity of Britain’s endemic levels of low pay and the importance of fair wages and dignity in work.

And he was the first to take a stand against Rupert Murdoch and his media empire. He has shown time and again, on press regulation, on bankers’ bonuses, on gas and electricity prices, on the minimum wage, on payday lending and on military action against Syria, that it is the Labour Party that is setting the agenda not the Coalition Government.

We have watched in disappointment over recent days as an anonymous few attempted to orchestrate a campaign of briefing to destablise Ed and his leadership. It has been deeply damaging for our party and it has to stop. Now is the time to stand our ground and to work even harder for the Labour victory that our communities so desperately need. As candidates we will not be distracted from getting out there and doing all we can to work for a Labour government.

Labour Parliamentary Candidates


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