ONE week to go before the big Progress jam day at Camden Town Hall. The New Labour gang are having their ‘Winning With Women’ conference there with deputy leader Harriet Harman speaking. It will kick off with words from council leader Sarah Hayward and continue with more senior names from London Labour politics.
Apparently, the post last week about how Progress membership and its proud Blairite link can be a point of division in Camden’s own collection of Labour councillors caused some level of irritation.
Interestingly this week, questions are being asked about why the conference with its worthy, progressive title has not pricked the interest of Tulip Siddiq, Labour’s chosen candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn, regardless of the identity of the hosts. She’s a woman. She wants to win. And it’s not as if the conference – strategy workshops and swapping of ideas before the election tests ahead – is being held a million miles away.
I haven’t been invited “because I’m not a member of Progress” is her reason. She says it is for members only.
But her friendly critics inside the group say that’s a bit like the time Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone explained why she didn’t speak at the ‘Save The Whitington Hospital’ demo earlier this year by saying she had not been asked to.
“You don’t sit on the sidelines waiting to be asked,” said one unimpressed Labour source.