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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Oops, they've done it again

Judging by reports in today's Western Mail, Labour seem determined to lose the Blaenau Gwent by-election before it has even been called. Their crassness in seeking to have the writ moved before Peter Law's funeral has upset a lot of people and will reinforce the view in that area that they are still being taken for granted by the Government party.

Labour may have abandoned the all-women shortlist that led to the loss of the seat in the first place but it was not just that which led to Peter Law's spectacular victory last year. It was a feeling that the Labour Party was behaving in an insensitive and arrogant way towards the constituency and its electors. If this latest news is true then they do not seem to have learnt much at all.
Hopefully an MP will object when the writ is moved if Labour do indeed go for this shabby option. If an MP objects when another MP seeks to move a writ before question time, it cannot proceed and has to be considered after question time, eating into government business. Then they will be forced to justify their action.
The other consideration is that this is a double by-election and the date of the one for the Assembly lies in the control of the Presiding Officer. If he says 25th May is too early then the Labour Party will be forced to hold off moving the writ.
I've read somewhere that Elis-Thomas has already ruled out setting out a date before the funeral.

There it is, I read it here - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4944102.stm

Good for Elis-Thomas give a good man some respect. Labour would do well to try and live up to the principles of Peter Law.
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