Letter to Editor: Labour candidate’s journey to Harlow

Your Say / Mon 30th Oct 2023 at 10:06am

Dear Editor, 

AS a resident of Harlow for over 40 years, I am pleased to welcome Chris Vince, a regular contributor to this site, to Harlow. However, it appears, given his plea to be our next MP and his purported passion for Harlow, that he must’ve got lost on the way. 

On his way to being Labour’s Parliamentary candidate in Harlow he has also been:

– Labour’s candidate for Chelmsford in 2015 – LOST

– Labour’s candidate for Chelmsford in 2017 – LOST

– Labour’s candidate for Hertford and Stortford in 2019 – LOST

– Labour’s candidate for Essex Police Commissioner in 2016 – LOST

– Labour’s candidate for the East of England in 2019 EU elections – LOST

– Labour’s candidate for Essex Police Commissioner in 2021 – LOST

– Labour’s applicant for candidate in Colchester in 2022 – LOST

And I’m sure there is more that he has just been unsuccessful in including Southend and Thurrock. So why would Harlow want an MP that has been rejected by every part of Essex and has landed in our town as a last resort?

In fact, here’s a quote from Chris less than a year ago: “My name is Chris Vince and I’m asking for your vote to be the next Labour candidate for Colchester”. 

I for one want an MP genuinely committed to Harlow, not someone who has tried and failed everywhere else and now pretends to care about Harlow because its the last place left for him. He backed Corbyn wholeheartedly and now flip flops with Starmer.

Unfortunately, Chris is just a serial trier who has no commitment to Harlow, just a commitment to being a career MP. Imagine if he was elected, he’d probably campaign for investment into Colchester in case he could jump ship back to there. 

So perhaps it’s time for Chris to reroute his satnav to his next political destination and for Harlow to have a candidate who fights as hard for Harlow as much as our current MP Robert Halfon does.


Hazel Smyth

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13 Comments for Letter to Editor: Labour candidate’s journey to Harlow:

Guy Flegman
2023-10-30 11:06:19

I am surprised he can still sit down after having that many a@# woopings! Still keep plugging away, you might get lucky. Do you feel lucky……we’ll do you

2023-10-30 13:41:41

Way to go, telling it like it is. Seems like Labour think they are going to lose again anyway so why bother putting a decent candidate up. Can they even find a local person willing to stand anyway?

James Leppard
2023-10-30 13:41:46

I wonder why this article does not appear under the 'Politics' section. Surely, it has at least as much relevance as the article regarding Potter Street.

2023-10-30 15:32:18

Our current MP is a joke, only works hard for Halfon, Harlow is a distant 3rd or 4th. I wonder if the person that wrote this will also slate the Tory councillors who are looking at getting seats in any part of the country, they can’t really care for Harlow if they are trying to get anywhere else as soon as possible.

Tony Edwards
2023-10-30 17:57:50

Hazel - There is nothing dishonourable in someone who wants to be a Member of Parliament seeking to become one. Politicians of all parties will put themselves forward for selection when the opportunity arises - and are often initially unsuccessful! See your Harlow article re Joel Charles (St Helens, Norwich North and Ipswich) and Russell Perrin (Cambridge City and Stevenage) https://www.yourharlow.com/2023/10/30/harlow-tories-continue-to-seek-a-parliamentary-seat-around-the-country/ Chris Vince has displayed a huge commitment to the Harlow as a Councillor, in the work that he does, and in his voluntary activity supporting the work of local charities.

2023-10-30 23:38:40

Robert Halfon lost twice in Harlow. He also had no obvious connection to Harlow that I could see. Chris Vince has been a Councillor for 5 years, i don't know his Harlow connection, perhaps he will tell us

2023-10-31 12:17:45

I don't think anyone who knows of Chris Vince, and sees the number of events he attends in Harlow, could ever doubt the passion he has for the town. If the turkeys of Harlow keep voting for Robert "Christmas" Halfon, I have absolutely no issue with Mr Vince seeking to become a MP in another constituency.

Mark Gough
2023-10-31 12:55:57

Anyone might suggest that since both our Tory MP and Labour Opponent have been "bused" into Harlow, that people might look around at other potentially more local candidates from other Parties. Neither supported what 68.1% of the Harlow wanted in the 2016 EU Referendum either. Harlow voted Leave and was the 20th highest Leave vote out of the 650 Constituencies. Since then turnout has continued on a downward spiral and faith in the two party system continues to go the same way. At their Conferences both tried to pretend they offered change, yet it's been one or other in Government since before the Second World War, apart from a bit of Coalition now and again. The definition of ridiculous is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The majority knows that our Political System needs a shake up, some might even say it needs Reform. I certainly would! Mark Gough - Reform UK.

David Forman
2023-10-31 14:16:56

Chris Vince failed to write a letter on the Gaza/Israel situation, even though he set up the Harlow branch of Amnesty International. Ducking comment on Gaza whilst a member of Amnesty International makes Chris Vince unfit to be Member of Parliament. Here is what Amnesty International had the courage to say while Chris Vince sat quiet: "Amnesty International is issuing an urgent call for an immediate ceasefire by all parties in the occupied Gaza Strip and Israel. All parties must protect civilians and strictly adhere to international humanitarian law and all violations of international law must be urgently investigated by the International Criminal Court. The root causes - including the Israeli authorities system of apartheid against Palestinians and decades of impunity - must be fully addressed." Chris Vince lists membership of Amnesty International on his 10th January 2023 Register of Interests at Harlow Council: https://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/mgDeclarationSubmissionPrintView.aspx?nobdr=1&UID=1394&HID=534&FID=0&HPID=0

2023-10-31 15:59:10

Very valid point raised by David Foreman, would Chris tow the party line and not risk upsetting central office or is he his own man and not afraid to tell Harlow residents his views, makes you wonder if he's afraid to talk on this issue how many other issues would he swerve so as to remain in favour. What Harlow needs is representatives that have individuality.

Michael Szpakowski
2023-10-31 21:06:59

Dave Forman makes the important point here. Chris Vince's utter silence on the ongoing and accelerating genocide in Gaza (and he is matched in this by *every* Labour councillor ) is beyond shameful.

Cara Sheridan (Dunne)
2023-11-02 11:57:47

Shame on you Michael Szpakowski. You have absolutely no idea what personal issues Labour councillors are facing. My husband Councillor Joe Dunne and I have supported many Harlow Stand up to Racism events and protests over the years. I am not in a position to speak for any Labour Party councillors or members but I am aware that Labour party councillors and members have supported these events too. I do not condone any violence, war or genocide and the situation in Gaza is extremely distressing. Attacking hard working Labour party councillors who have nothing to do with this conflict is unacceptable.

Michael Szpakowski
2023-11-03 09:43:33

It's a curious measure of shame that asking the question why *every single* Labour councillor, including Chris Vince, the parliamentary candidate, as well as the constituency party as a whole is *utterly silent* in the face of the Gaza genocide is seen as more shameful than that silence itself . Of course there will be people whose personal circumstances preclude them speaking out right now but , really, *every single one*? This is a generation defining issue - the idea that it is nothing to do with Harlow is absurd. It's straightforward - should the merciless slaughter of innocents in their thousands by blockade and bombardment stop or should it not?

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