Friday 31 May 2024

North Durham Will Not Be Hackneyed

Luke Akehurst is now based in Oxford, but he was a Hackney Borough Councillor for many years, and it was briefed all last week that he was going to be imposed on Hackney North and Stoke Newington in place of Diane Abbott. But Abbott would have held the seat under any label or none. How many MPs could bring their constituents to the streets in support, as she has done repeatedly? Almost anyone else who tried that would end up addressing only the hired help. If, as is being reported, the Labour purge of Abbott has failed, then the teenagers in their dads’ second suits have been made to realise quite who she was. Akehurst, by contrast, is 52. He saw where things were heading days ago, and he arranged to be given North Durham instead.

I have yet to meet Akehurst. We have 52 mutual friends on Facebook, although, tellingly, none of them would appear to be a member of North Durham Constituency Labour Party. I have been contesting this seat since Lanchester was moved into it, and I have been contesting this General Election since before the last one. But we are not going to be treated like this. Are we? When I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair’s Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

The Workers Party of Britain is not contesting North Durham, so I am, and matters are now too far advanced for me to stand aside for that party, or for Laura Pidcock as is rumoured without a word from her, or for a Palestinian as is also being mooted, or for anyone else. Unless the Workers Party had come up with a candidate by Sunday, then the fact that I was always going to contest this Election had been in the public domain for five years. I am not standing against Akehurst. He is standing against me. The Workers Party would be standing against me. Laura would be standing against me. A Palestinian would be standing against me. Anyone would be standing against me. Please contact, including if you might be able to help with money. But I will be on that ballot paper, come what may.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not. We have made a start.


  1. Starmer is an inexperienced politician surrounded by schoolboys, Abbott has run rings around them.

    1. They had thought that they could run down the clock until she would have had to have gone Independent and been expelled from the Labour Party. But she worked that out and leaked it. Now they have felt her power. They got rid of Jeremy Corbyn, at least from their precious party. But they could not get rid of her from anything.