Luciana: She has to win over Labour voters first

Luciana Berger

Luciana Berger

MY post about Luciana Berger’s swift exit from the race for a council seat in St Pancras and Somers Town caused a bit of a stir (Luciana heads to Liverpool). I was rightly corrected that Berger will not have a guaranteed path to the House of Commons by running for Labour in Liverpool Wavertree. The Lib Dems, by all accounts, are closing in on a seat held by the same Labour MP for 18 years. I’d guess it’s probably still regarded as a better bet for Labour than a well-known constituency closer to home though.

There was also comment on these pages from David Bartlett, a journalist at the Liverpool Echo, who has blogged this week about the apparent division Luciana’s candidacy has caused. It’s not a Labour vs Lib Dem sort of division, but a division within the Labour Party itself. Apparently, just one day after she was confirmed as the new candidate, another Liverpool MP Peter Kilfoyle has dismissed her as little more than a student politician. Frosty.

Now, I don’t pretend to be an expert in the politics of Liverpool – got enough going on in London – but doesn’t this sound all too familiar? When the Labour Party need unity in the face of encroaching threat, why do members always seem to turn on themselves? Fighting among themselves, distracting each other from the increasingly daunting task of holding onto seats that they would traditionally have no problem winning.

Certainly there are Labour-supporting locals in Liverpool who regard Berger as a classic carpet bagger who has picked off a seat which gives her the best chance of a quick route to Parliament. But you wonder whether this kind of public civil war, to use the Echo’s term for it, will only lead to the whole lot of them being turfed out on their backsides. Then they will have plenty of time on their hands to argue out their differences.

2 Comments on Luciana: She has to win over Labour voters first

  1. To be fair Luciana won 94 votes when her oponent got just 51 – she won over Labour members 2 to 1. This is very impressive, I know of only 2 selections with a better margin that that.

    Peter Kilfoyle is the Hoon and Hewitt of Liverpool Labour.

    Everyone in the local party had accepted the result on the day, I understand people from all sides went for a drink afterwards and now everyone is focused on winning the next election and keeping the Lib Dems who have drive Liverpool Council into the ground away from Parliament where they are sure to side with the Tories if a hung Parliament is the result of the next election.

  2. I think that it would be grossly unfair to characterise Peter Kilfoyle as anything but representative of himself, let alone the Labour Party. At the moment, and counter to the wishes of a huge majority of Wavertree’s Labour members – as Richard pointed out, Mr Kilfoyle’s bashing of Luciana Berger’s candidacy is only aiding the Lib Dems.

    Apart from a brief ministerial spell at the beginning of Blair’s first government, he has always seemed much more comfortable opposing, rather than supporting, the government. Why would he care if Labour won the general election or not? Despite the hugely negative consequences a Tory government would have on Liverpool and the wider country, it would have little effect on Mr Kilfoyle’s parliamentary behaviour.

    We have a democratic party and, by all accounts, Labour supporters should have complete faith that Wavertree has chosen the right person for the job. It’s now time to ignore the back-biting of a few and work together to ensure we retain Wavertree and win the general election.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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