Wednesday, 3 March 2010

De Beauvoir UFOs/unsuccessful Hackney candidate/Asians don't vote for black candidates?

UFOs in Hackney? Apparently the skies over De Beauvoir are full of them. Albert, if you ever read this, what was it you saw?


A piece from Operation Black Vote mentions Hackney Cllr Patrick Vernon's short-lived attempt to become Labour candidate for Leyton and Wanstead. According to OBV, Cllr Vernon was a favourite but didn't make it onto the shortlist. Another Hackney councillor, Sophie Linden, did make it onto the shortlist but lost in the end to John Cryer.

According to the OBV report, the fate of another black candidate later in the selection process suggested that there may be a divide between black and Asian members of Labour Party's BAME ( - which is supposed to fight for more black MPs. OBV claims that Asian Labour Party members supported a white candidate over a black candidate once their Asian colleague was ruled out of the contest.

Operation Black Vote reports that supporters of the Asian candidate, Ahmed Shahzad - who happens to be head of BAME - "proved decisive in sealing the win for (John) Cryer, provoking dismay among supporters of (Terry) Paul who had won substantial backing among a cross section of rank and file party members, but significantly failed to win the second preference vote of Shahzad’s supporters, who were mostly of Asian origin."

The OBV report quotes one anonymous Labour Party member: "It’s an absolute disgrace. Totally shameful. He [Shahzad] has got his position in the party as a result of representing Black members, and what does he do? He stops a good quality Black person becoming an MP. I think his position as head of BAME Labour is now untenable."

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