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Hartlepool by-election

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Brock
1378335.  Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:06 pm Reply with quote

It's been reported that the gap between the Hartlepool by-election (to be held on May 6th) and the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election (held on August 1st 2019) is the longest since World War II.

But does it hold another record? There are no fewer than three former Labour MPs standing in the same contest:

Paul Williams (Labour candidate, served as Labour MP for Stockton South 2017-19)
Hilton Dawson (North East Party candidate, served as Labour MP for Lancaster and Wyre 1997-2005)
Thelma Walker (Northern Independence Party candidate, served as Labour MP for Colne Valley 2017-19)

To confuse things further, the candidate for Reform UK (formerly the Brexit Party) goes by the name of John Prescott (no, not the former Labour deputy PM!).

 
Jenny
1378339.  Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:26 pm Reply with quote

Is the original John Prescott still an MP? Must be pretty ancient by now if so.

 
suze
1378341.  Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:54 pm Reply with quote

Not only is the gap between by-elections the longest since WWII, it is in fact the longest since records began in 1801. In that period of 220 years, only four have been entirely devoid of a by-election: 1992, 1998, 2010 (three were pending when Parliament was dissolved for the general election), and 2020.

But after the one in Hartlepool on 6 May there will be another seven days later, that one precipitated by the decision of Neil Gray (SNP, Airdrie and Shotts) to seek election to the Scottish Parliament instead.

There are two main reasons why there were many more by-elections in the Olden Days than now. One, being an MP used to be a job for old men, and old men have an unfortunate tendency to die. Two, until 1926 an MP appointed to the Cabinet had to call a by-election on himself - and win it - before he could sit in the Cabinet. In practice by-elections called for that reason were usually uncontested, and eventually the Conservative government of Stanley Baldwin backed a Labour private member's bill to abolish the necessity.


The presence of three former MPs in a by-election field does seem to be a first.

I can find one that had two, the Croydon North by-election in 1948, which Nicholas Soames likes to claim that he won despite being four weeks old when it was held. He was born in the constituency, and his grandfather - some fellow called Churchill - did some campaigning with his baby local grandson.

The seat had become vacant upon the incumbent Conservative being appointed Master of Magdalene, and Central Office was a bit nervous about the by-election. Both the Labour and Liberal candidates had been MPs before, but a biscuit-making local businessman beat both of them - maybe with some help from a baby. The jockey Gordon Richards, who regularly rode horses owned by Biscuit Guy, also campaigned for him.


The Northern Independence Party sounds rather eccentric. It advocates for the North of England to become an independent nation under the name Northumbria. It has no policies on where the capital would be, what the currency would be, whether it would be a kingdom or a republic, or whether or not it should seek membership of the EU, considering all of these to be matters for future referendums. Its economic policy is pure Corbyn.

It is apparently divided on whether or not Derbyshire falls within its remit, and advocates that all counties bordering the new state should hold referendums about joining it.

 
suze
1378342.  Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:57 pm Reply with quote

As for the better known John Prescott, he is 82.

He retired from the House of Commons in 2010, and at once moved to the Other Place as Lord Prescott of Kingston upon Hull. He is also a director of Hull Kingston Rovers Rugby League Football Club Limited.

 
PDR
1378343.  Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:00 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Is the original John Prescott still an MP? Must be pretty ancient by now if so.


He's no longer allowed to be an MP as he's now Baron Prescott (of Kingston upon Hull in the County of East Yorkshire). But he's only 82 - not really "old" these days.

PDR

 
crissdee
1378366.  Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:46 am Reply with quote

I answered that question yesterday, but my post seems to have disappeared.

 
Brock
1378378.  Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:34 am Reply with quote

You don't hear from him much these days, do you? Other former Labour leaders and deputy leaders pop up in the media from time to time (even Roy Hattersley), but Prescott seems to have completely disappeared from view.

 
Jenny
1378391.  Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:27 pm Reply with quote

Hull Kingston Rovers must be keeping him fairly busy.

 
jaygeemack
1379944.  Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:54 am Reply with quote

Convicted sex offender, Christopher Killick, is standing in the Hartlepool by-election. He was found guilty of voyeurism last year after filming an unconscious naked woman in a hotel room.

Sex offenders are not allowed to stand as councillors, but there is no prohibition on their putting themselves forward for parliament.

 
suze
1379999.  Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:23 pm Reply with quote

jaygeemack wrote:
Sex offenders are not allowed to stand as councillors.


This may be the case in Scotland where you are; I'm not sure whether electoral law is devolved. But in England and Wales there is no such prohibition. The Guidance for Candidates and Agents lists six grounds which make one ineligible to stand for election to a local authority in England and Wales.

The one which is relevant here is ground e. (p 5 of the document). You cannot be a candidate if "You have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more (including a suspended sentence), without the option of a fine, during the five years before polling day".

The pervert in Hartlepool was fined and put on probation when he was convicted of the offence, but he was not sent to prison.

What I fail to understand, though, is why this guy has chosen to stand for Parliament. He's not from Hartlepool, he has never previously sought elected office, and he can hardly expect many people to vote for him. His stated policies are comparable to those of the Green Party - but that party has a perfectly good candidate of its own, who has the major advantage of not being a convicted pervert, and it is in any case a minority taste in Hartlepool.

 
crissdee
1380006.  Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:38 pm Reply with quote

On the matter of elections in general, I have had a number of leaflets through the door of WYEBODDA, extolling the virtues of various people seeking public office. Two in particular though caught my attention. One, from the "Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party" whose aims are fairly self-explanatory, and another from UKIP who apparently seek a referendum to scrap the Senned as well.

As is well-documented on these boards, I do not have my finger on the political pulse, but this is surely a bold strategy, seeking election so that you can destroy the system that gave you the power.

 
ali
1380015.  Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:58 pm Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
On the matter of elections in general, I have had a number of leaflets through the door of WYEBODDA, extolling the virtues of various people seeking public office. Two in particular though caught my attention. One, from the "Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party" whose aims are fairly self-explanatory, and another from UKIP who apparently seek a referendum to scrap the Senned as well.

As is well-documented on these boards, I do not have my finger on the political pulse, but this is surely a bold strategy, seeking election so that you can destroy the system that gave you the power.


To be fair, UKIP do have form in that regard.

 
jaygeemack
1380113.  Sat Apr 24, 2021 7:49 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
jaygeemack wrote:
Sex offenders are not allowed to stand as councillors.


This may be the case in Scotland where you are; I'm not sure whether electoral law is devolved. But in England and Wales there is no such prohibition.


Are you questioning the word of the Daily Mail?

 

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