Category Archives: By elections

UKIP candidate axed for ‘Down’s abortion manifesto’ will still run

UKIP's Geoffrey Clark

A UKIP candidate, who was suspended from the party for his 4,500 word ‘personal manifesto’ suggesting that all abortions should be compulsory for foetus’ with Down’s syndrome, will still be running in Kent’s by-election tomorrow.

Clarke’s foam-at-the-mouth rant called disabled babies a “burden on the state”:

“Consider compulsory abortion when the foetus is detected as having Downs, spina bifida or similar syndrome which, if it is born, will render the child a burden on the state as well as on the family.”

Although forced to run as an independent, the ballot papers will still mark disgraced Geoffrey Clark as UKIP as the sheets have already been printed. The manifesto, which was published on his website, has since been removed.

UKIP almost fell over themselves in a rush to distance the party from what they described as “abhorrent views”.

Suspensions of off-message candidates are a rare thing in libertarian UKIP — showing the extent to which Clark had crossed the line of decency.

Rotherham winter: why Galloway will hit the buffers tomorrow

Despite odd’s on Respect being slashed yesterday, there’s one major reason why George Galloway’s party doesn’t stand a chance in tomorrow’s Rotherham by-election — and it isn’t because their campaign office was still locked at 9:30 this morning (above).

Some have correctly observed that George Galloway’s coup in Bradford marked “the beginning of the end of Labour’s ethnic minority bloc vote politics”. But there is one major barrier to the extension of the franchise forty miles down the M1: there is no such minority bloc in Rotherham.

Though it includes those not of voting age, census data for Bradford West clearly shows that the Muslim Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi population which formed the Respect/Galloway base dwarfed the 5,763 majority that Labour by-election campaigners inherited from Marsha Singh. In contrast, just 4,467 people of South Asian origin live in Rotherham according to the last available stats — much smaller than Denis MacShane’s 10,462 lead over the Conservatives.

Don’t believe the hype.

Mensch fibs to Newsnight with claim she “never wanted to be a minister”

After jetting off to New York and leaving Cameron with an embarrassing by-election disaster, former Corby MP Louise Mensch has been trying to rewrite history on her quixotic Westminster ambitions, telling Newsnight on Friday:

“Contrary to massive public rumour, I have never wanted to be a minister”

In an interview to accompany a glossy photo shoot for the February edition of GQ, however, Mensch half joked about her failure to be promoted — before then naming the department in which she would like to be a minister in what the magazine describes as “a job application”:

“I’m not even a PPS! It’s kind of annoying. What do I have to do to get promoted over here? Am I being disloyal? I don’t know.”

I need to sit down with my whip and say, ‘What do I have to do?’ No, every time there is a raft of PPS promotions and my name is not on them, I have to sit down and think, ‘What am I doing wrong?’”

The then Corby MP was clearly not content with the not insignificant airmiles she was already clocking up on the way to New York, fancying some additional travel at the taxpayers’ expense:

“I would very much like to have a crack at International Development”

The penny finally seemed to drop by Friday, however, with Mensch admitting that she “could never have [been a cabinet minister] in the first place”, before reiterating “… and I never wanted to”.

Update: Mensch is not impressed:


Touched a nerve, have we?

Now ANOTHER Tory council accused of promoting candidate with taxpayer cash

It seems that Spelthorne Borough Council are not the only Conservative local authority who see no problem with giving public platforms to their own candidates — the London Borough of Croydon apparently has given Iain Duncan Smith a platform to promote the Tory by-election candidate.

A local news and politics blog reports that IDS was attending the publicly-funded “Croydon congress” meeting, when he said he was “obviously” there to back the Tory candidate Andy Stranack.

Blame this time, however, is being laid at the door of council chief executive John Rouse. Rouse seems to have a history of questionable decisions, banning Labour and Co-operative candidates from using the Labour rose emblem on ballot papers — and was on the panel with the Work and Pensions Secretary at the event.

This is starting to look slightly endemic.

Was local Rotherham candidate kept off shortlist over MacShane links?

With Labour’s controversial selection process for Rotherham culminating in a walk-out by local party members last night, questions have been asked as to why the leading local candidate was excluded from the shortlist after Labour sources claimed they needed “a clean break from the past”.

Having a literally glittering record for his ten years on Rotherham council, Mahroof Hussain was the obvious omission from a panel of candidates which is set by the party at national level. But local members stormed out of the selection meeting after being forced to pick from a choice of just two.

Perhaps the answer can be found in Hussains’ biography for a selection in another northern seat, Middlesborough:

“Mahroof Hussain is a councillor in Rotherham and has served on the council for the past 10 years. He worked with the Minister for Europe, Rt. Hon Denis MacShane MP as an advisor on Equality in Europe”

With the Scotland Yard and the Crow Prosecution Service reconvening a powerful committee to look again at Denis MacShane’s invoices, perhaps a potential future court date as a witness wasn’t what they were looking for in Rotherham’s next MP?

Croydon North candidate raps: rhyming frenzy from UKIP’s McKenzie

Winston McKenzie, standing for UKIP in the upcoming by election for Croydon North, doesn’t seem to have been knocked back by his 2005 rejection from the X-Factor though, as three years later he appears rapping about his electoral appeal.

The video dates from McKenzie’s 2008 London Mayoral bid, then standing as an independent. Though initially fluent in monosyllabic rhyme, McKenzie soon descends off message:

“Just look at me and Ken, look at Boris, tell me who would the women fancy? Me or them? I’m the man!”

Clearly a fan of rhyme, McKenzie wrote his 2008 mayoral policy in rhyming couplets. His tough, zero-tolerance stance on crime is as follows:

“Knives and guns,

Are fun for some,

Check my Policy,

It’s no fallacy.”

Scrapbook can only hope that all of the Croydon North candidates will reach out to the electorate in the same way.

Bradford West Tory vote collapses after anti-immigrant literature

With all of the morning after analysis focused on Labour, little attention seems to be paid to the Conservatives suffering the biggest vote slump – 22.8%. Senior Tory figures have tried to brush this off as the effect of being in government, but that ignores the anti-immigration campaign of their candidate, shown in the above leaflet distributed to prominently white areas of the constituency.

Presumably the Tories thought that they could stoke racial tensions without Bradford’s ethnic minorities noticing.

Read more: Galloway’s leaflets from Bradford West »

Ex-Lehman Brothers MP attacks voter’s “scruffy house” on Twitter

With reports that David Cameron “cannot be bothered” to attend the Feltham and Heston by-election, those wanting further evidence of the contempt in which some Conservatives hold voters need look no further than Steve Baker MP, who took to Twitter earlier today to attack a voter’s house as the “scruffiest” he had seen.

Baker, who represents Wycombe in leafy Buckinghamshire, would doubtless have regarded Tory posters in down-at-heel areas as evidence of his party’s broadening appeal. Not having one, however, is apparently an invitation for the former Lehman Brothers executive to slag your house off:

Way to charm the voters.


UPDATE: Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, Scrapbook have managed to come across the exact spot from which Steve Baker’s “scruffiest” house ever rant was tweeted. With minds of a curious nature, we could not help but wonder whether any of these suburban homes were the flame that lit Baker’s “vote-winning” fire. We mean look at that loose cabling!

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