Momentum bid to get rookie councillor installed as deputy leader of Harlow Council
News / Sat 11th May 2019 pm31 07:19pm
YH understands that Harlow Momentum will make a further bid to consolidate their power base on Harlow Council by having a rookie councillor installed as deputy leader.
Bush Fair councillor, Jodi Dunne won a by-election in November and then further extended his majority on May 2nd.
The Labour group meet on Sunday at Moot House to vote for leader and deputy leader.
In a message seen by YH, the far left organisation has informed members.
“We have a Momentum member, Jodi Dunne, standing for Deputy leader of the Council at the electoral college to be held on Sunday 12th at New Hall, Moot House, 2pm.
“After a local election campaign in which Jodi increased his majority in Bush Fair and having helped set up and launch ‘Save Our Libraries Essex’, Jodi has credentials. Whilst he does not have years of experience as a councillor, he is a very active, resourceful candidate who has worked in many industry sectors in the town in the past 25 years, (mostly at the sharp edge of production and manufacturing, where our traditional Labour voter base should be).
“Jodi is a relatable candidate with a ‘man of the people’ manner which can be appealing to our grass roots membership and supporters. We are confident that Jodi will be an excellent ambassador for the council in public facing situations.
“Please if you are able to spare the time this Sunday, come to the hustings to cast your vote for the Momentum Harlow candidate, Jodi Dunne”.
The present deputy leader is Cllr Mark Wilkinson. Cllr Wilkinson has twenty three years service as a councillor and is a former leader however we understand that he stepped in as deputy in a temporary capacity.
Harlow Council leader Mark Ingall responded to the news that Momentum were backing his fellow Bush Fair councillor.
“Both the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Group of Councillors are elected positions. Both positions come with a burden of responsibility and a huge time commitment. A decision to put your name forward for either role is not taken lightly.
Councillor Wilkinson agreed to stand as my deputy leader part way through last year. He did so on the strict understanding that he could not commit beyond this May, because he could not spare the time needed for longer than that. I am grateful that Mark stepped up when I needed him, but I understand why he is choosing to stand down now, as planned.
It is surely a good thing that there is healthy competition for leadership roles in a democratic party, that is after all what democracy is about. Any Councillor may put themselves forward for either role. Councillor Dunne’s decision to stand as deputy leader is as welcome as that of the three other Councillors, that I know of, who have expressed an interest in the role. The election is in fact a two stage process with the final decision taken on Monday evening. This paper will be informed of the outcome as soon as the decision is made.
“Talk of a Momentum takeover of the Council is really rather silly. Labour Councillors have to declare their membership of groups like Momentum in the Councillors’ register of interests. Of twenty Labour Councillors, only three are Momentum members”.
Finally, we contacted cllr Dunne but he did not reply.
The majority of the Harlow Labour administration party councillors are momentum activists. This as been the case for a while now.