By-election in Bush Fair as popular Labour councillor stands down

News / Mon 17th Sep 2018 at 08:38am

A POPULAR Harlow Labour councillor has resigned with immediate effect, thereby forcing a by-election, after being deselected as a candidate for next May’s local elections.

The decision was made Bush Fair councillor Ian Beckett after he was deselected at a meeting of Harlow Labour on Sunday afternoon.

For some, the decision to deselect may not be that shocking. The former chair of Harlow Council was very vocal (and public) in his criticism of the way former Harlow Council leader, Jon Clempner was allegedly treated.

Toddbrook councillor (and wife of former Harlow Council leader, Jon Clempner) Karen Clempner has also stood down.

For local residents, free of any knowledge of any inner party battles, they are upset that they will be losing a tireless campaigner for local issues from improvements in Nicholls Field, education at all the schools, the Bush Fair Fayre, anti-social tenants, the WaterhouseMoor community to name just a few.

It may well add credence to the perception that Momentum has growing influence in the Harlow Labour Party. Council leader, cllr Mark Ingall, at a recent council meeting, pointed to his fellow councillors and asked: “Does this look like a hard left faction to you?” but some believe that the decisions are made away from the civic offices in The Water Gardens.

A Harlow Labour Party spokesperson said: “It is Harlow Labour Party’s standard procedure to select candidates for
local elections by a secret ballot of ward members attending a meeting.

Any Harlow resident Labour Party member is allowed to put themselves forward as a potential candidate in any of the wards, whether there is a sitting Labour Councillor or not.

One of the eleven wards selecting a candidate for the 2019 local elections, at yesterday’s meeting, was Bush Fair.

“The members of this ward selected Jodi Dunne to be their candidate.

Councillor Beckett has written to the manager of Harlow Council (and Returning Officer) to tender his resignation.

“Dear Brian,

With regret I am resigning as a Harlow Councillor with immediate effect.

Yesterday, Harlow Labour Party held its Selection Meeting to determine its candidates for the local elections in May 2019. The outcome was that Harlow Labour Party did not wish me to be their candidate in the Bush Fair Ward. The process was fair and democratic and I accept the result.

I have drawn, what I consider to be, a reasonable conclusion, that is that Harlow Labour Party has lost confidence in me, or at least decided it has greater confidence in someone else. For that reason I consider my position untenable.

I would like to place on record my appreciation of all members of Harlow Council staff for the support they have provided me with for almost eight years. They are a credit to the Council and to the town.

I am copying this to the Leader of the Council. I am also copying it to the local media to prevent any misinformation being communicated. I do not intend to be drawn into debate about this with anyone. If asked for comment I will provide a copy of this letter.

I will continue to serve my friends, my neighbours, my immediate community and Harlow, in whatever way possible, when the opportunity arises, or when it needs to be created.

With all good wishes

Ian Beckett

No date has been set for the by-election.

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3 Comments for By-election in Bush Fair as popular Labour councillor stands down:

2018-09-17 15:37:45

A sad loss to the ward and even more, Ian Beckett, is very well respected and admired by various parties in Harlow. Friend and a good colleague to John Clempner and I suppose that after John was dumped by the new 'ard left, his card was well and truly marked. I'm not a gambling man, but,I'll wager that a few more heads will roll. Anyone remember the "night of the long knives " ? Plain to see the back stabbing here, yes, it's the MOMENTUM way. Keep voting, because Labour doesn't exist anymore. Disgusted.

2018-09-17 17:02:34

I'm a life long labour voter - but they just lost my vote from any local cal election from now on.

2018-09-19 05:41:46

Where did all the momentum voters come from ?

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