Potential Brighton Labour candidate accused of sending misleading email

Posted On 27 Mar 2014 at 8:57 pm

A potential Labour candidate in Brighton has been accused of spreading “inaccurate and misleading information” about a fellow party member.

The accusation came after Harris Fitch, who hopes to be chosen for the safe seat of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, sent an email to branch members as he awaits a date for a selection run-off.

It followed a selection meeting earlier this month when sitting councillors Leigh Farrow and Anne Meadows were reselected.

But Councillor Mo Marsh, who topped the poll in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean at the last two Brighton and Hove City Council elections, tied for the third slot with Mr Fitch.

German Doner Kebab

He wrote: “As you may know the selection meeting produced two candidates. As far as I know the meeting was carried out incorrectly and a fellow candidate has complained about this.

“This may result in having to hold the meeting again for the final candidate or it might require selecting the three candidates at once.

“Regardless of what happens, who gets selected and how many votes they receive everyone has put up a good fight.

“I really want to help see a Labour victory here in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean and Kemptown but this can only be done through vigorous campaigning within our community.

“Due to the ward’s inactivity, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean may well have been the reason that Kemptown went to the Conservatives but this will not be allowed to happen again.

“That is why I hope that you will place your vote behind my name when the new selection meeting is called.

“We are trying to build a sustainable, energised and effective campaigning machine here. Please support these goals by selecting me when we next have the opportunity.”

Later the same evening – on Thursday 20 March – Councillor Meadows sent a follow-up email to branch members.

She wrote: “It has been brought to my attention that some inaccurate and misleading information has been sent to you.

“I am sorry to hear that members are being accused of doing nothing in the ward.

“I thought I would put this information in some context.

“In the 2010 elections there were only two Labour councillors working hard in the ward.

“Against a background of a longstanding Labour government and a rising tide of support for the Green Party, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean did very well in the 2010 general elections with a turnout of 3,238 Labour voters.

“In East Brighton, the safest Labour seat, for example, they have a higher number of voters yet only achieved 2,620 votes for Labour.

“It is a shame that the hard work of the two Labour councillors (Marsh and Meadows) with support from university students and hardworking GMB members from Croydon is being misrepresented in this way.”

No date has been published for the selection run-off.

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    I do hope Harris Fitch understands the value of councillors in terms of how well they are regarded by residents in the ward for the work they do IN the ward for THEM. The voting record suggests that Marsh & Meadows are valued by residents. New Cllr Farrow seems to me to have shaped up well too. Perhaps this is not the right ward for Mr. Fitch. There are plenty of others.

    Political parties baffle me when all they seem to care about is the number of dumbo flyers put about or cheesy grins they can force on people who open doors to them for the ritual maximum three minutes of “Can we count on your vote”.

  2. Bob Sparrow Reply

    Its difficult when the inactivity of sitting Councillors is called to account – Going to meetings of the self appointed great and the good in a local ward often means that thousands of other residents are ignored. I’ve never had any of the sitting Councillors knock at my door, and I asked my neighbours the same – They have never heard of them. I’ve lived in area for a long while now, and frankly I’m sick of these Councillors taking the money only to be never heard of. Get off the gravy train – and come and talk to us about OUR community. Fair game to this chap – seems like he wants to actually engage with residents. Well done.

  3. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Mr. Sparrow, why do you think he necessarily wants to “actually engage”….? He is seeking to join a family dynasty of being a councillor in his family. His Uncle is a serving councillor.

    There are two kinds of cllr – the ward active ones and the politically active/council mtgs & committees ones. I think Mr. Harris Fitch has a profile that is more about the 2nd kind.

  4. Ross McLean Reply

    Yet another good man being misrepresented, what a load of rubbish.

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