Labour selects former radical left activist to fight by-election

Posted On 26 Mar 2021 at 3:56 pm

Leila Erin-Jenkins


Labour has selected a community activist who previously stood against them for a hard-left party as their candidate in the upcoming Hollingdean and Stanmer by-election.

Leila Erin-Jenkins has led several campaigns around Brighton and Hove, starting with opposition to cuts to children’s centres in 2015 and more recently heading up the Acorn renters’ union.

That year, she stood in her home ward of Moulsecoomb for the Left Unity party, which describes itself as radical left and ecosocialist.

She picked up just 412 votes or 2%, while Labour’s candidates Mo Marsh, Anne Meadows and Dan Yates were elected with 16%, 15% and 12% of the vote respectively.

Ms Erin-Jenkins, whose Twitter account was set up in 2012 but currently has no tweets, is the party’s second choice for the seat. Unite the union activist Max O’Donnell-Savage was originally selected, but later withdrew.

She said: “I was born, raised and educated in Brighton. In 2015 with cuts facing children’s centres, including Hollingdean which my children and I attend, I rallied families and we successfully fought to stop these cuts.

“Now, as Secretary of Acorn Community Union, I campaign for citywide landlord licensing to improve the living conditions and wellbeing of renters, many of whom live in this ward.

“I also volunteer to protect local people from eviction and homelessness during the pandemic.

“I am a parent of a disabled child who attended Downsview Hollingdean and I am also secretary of Sunflowers Support Group, championing fellow parent carers.

“I am eager to build good links with Coldean, oppose unnecessary houses of multiple occupation and protect our local services.

“I would be honoured to serve all the residents of Hollingdean and Stanmer, responding to concerns and representing this fantastic ward.”

Theresa Fowler, one of the current councillors in the ward said: “Leila will make an amazing councillor. She understands this area and the people who live here.

“I was very impressed by her campaigning work over tenants rights and housing and it shows she has the ability to work with both our longstanding local and newer student residents, bringing them together to make Hollingdean and Stanmer a stronger community.

“Local Labour Party members are looking forward to working with such a terrific local campaigner.”

Jon Rogers, Chair of Brighton Pavilion Labour Party said: “I am thrilled that Leila has been selected to stand as the Labour Candidate in Hollingdean and Stanmer.

“She has a strong understanding of social justice and how that relates to those who require the services of the city council.

“She has a successful record in campaigning on housing issues and supporting tenants rights.

“She is also a strong environmental campaigner who understands the issues facing the city as it strives to combat the climate crisis.

“Leila will be a strong voice in the council.”

The by-election, which follows the resignation of Labour councillor Tracey Hill for family reasons, will be held on May 6.

Editor’s note: The headline was changed at 5.30pm to change the description of “far left” to “radical left” after complaints from leftwing members of the Labour party.

  1. Linda Jameson Reply

    “Former hard left activist” – shouldn’t that read “current hard left activist”

    • Jed Bland Reply

      If its hard left to care about the people who live in your constituency I reckon that’s no bad thing.

      Makes a change from politicians who are simply out for themselves in the pocket of commercial interests.

      • Jojo Goldsmith Reply

        ‘Hard left’ usually means political dogma rules and certainly not the residents you represent. The best ward councilors tend to be the moderates who actually live in the ward and want to put residents before political ideaology.

        • Mike Davies Reply

          Putting residents first is itself a political ideology. Putting people before the interests of capitalists is far left ideology and it is in the interests of H&S residents as well as those residing in the other wards in this great City.

          When people talk about “hard left dogma” they generaly use it as an alibi for their own neo-liberal political agenda which they promulgate without acknowledging it.

          It is not possible to put ordinary people first without a left agenda and/or without a left ideology. That is what “left” is in political terms : putting ordinary people first.

    • Rostrum Reply

      Another swivel eyed looney left with candidate…

  2. Nathan Adler Reply

    Another Momentum loon to join in with the ‘hard left’ coalition with the Greens. No matter what the Labour Party do nationally the local Labour Party has failed to leave the Corbyn era behind.

  3. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    Absolutely right to all of the above. Although, thankfully, the bonkers Corbyn era has ended, the legacy lingers on in B&H and we are still stuck with the hard leftie candidates and a hard left coalition (and incompetent) council masquerading as something else. Unfortunately, Keir Starmer, the London metropolitan lawyer, is not the Labour leader to get a grip on any of the goings-on in local constituency parties, although he is an improvement on Corbyn. If anyone were looking for a better Labour leader, try Stephen Kinnock, who is sensible and pragmatic. He is too sensible to stand for the leadership and get embroiled in the hideous mess that Labour are, unfortunately.

    Although I am not a Labour supporter, especially in B&H, there are decent Labour people out there – e.g. Peter Kyle, the Hove MP.

    How do the ‘normal’ people of B&H get shot of these loonies? All ideas welcome!

    • Peter Challis Reply

      Perhaps Leila standing is part of a Labour-Green deal to have an unelectable politically extreme candidate and to hand the seat to the Greens?

      • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

        I despair of voters in these constituencies, who must be delusional or on magic mushrooms. What have the Momentum lot or the incompetent Greens ever done for them or any of us??

        Political ideology is all very well, but when do the voters actually wake up and look at these awful candidates??

        The Greens got thrown out some time back (quite rightly, as Kitcat & Co were totally incompetent – Kitcat then ran away and got a lucrative job elsewhere) and yet there still seem to be a load of voters who think the Greens and Momentum are good people and will do something positive for them. Wake up, people!!

        I despair, I really do.

      • Ashley Frank Reply

        I am delighted that we have a candidate who will represent Coldean. This is urgently needed. We now have 96 HMOs and two unwanted residential developments. Greens seem to be only concerned with Hollingdean or the City.
        She was very lucid in her selection statement, and I am sure she will work hard to promote Labour policies

  4. A L Brighton Reply

    Oh my. What a bad decision Labour have made. She’s crazy and extreme. She should be no where near the Labour party.

    How on earth can Labour go from choosing the amazing Tracey Hill to run in the last election to picking this woman now?

  5. PUNTER123 Reply

    talk about re-writing mini-minor foot-note history: this journo clicked the button to “changed at 5.30pm to change the description of “far left” to “radical left”” = what ever next!
    the fact (i.e. truth) is that the middle class in north east downland brighton have changed since dave l. worked there …

  6. Iain Chambers Reply

    Why is it people use ‘ideological’ as applying to some politicians or indeed people but not others?
    It is very easy to demonstrate that what some see as far/hard left policies in the UK are seen elsewhere in the world as mainstream and not at all radical. Equally there are policies being deployed by the current government that would be seen as radically hard right elsewhere.
    We all have an ideology of some sort, even if we don’t recognise that fact, and so saying someone is driven by ideology as if that’s a bad or strange thing is just odd.

  7. John Donn Reply

    Another attempt by middle class right wing journalist, Jo Wadsworth, to try and besmirch working class people for fighting for a better lot for their community.

  8. No more fruit cake Reply

    Leila should do the right thing and step aside or Labour should do it for her.

  9. John Donn Reply

    How strange. My comment criticising the journalist was just removed. It wasn’t abusive. Guess Jo Wadsworth likes dishing out the dirt, but can’t take any criticism herself.

  10. T. Cox Reply

    Iain Chambers. Totally. All the activities and policies proposed by Leila are completely reasonable aspirations for any community anywhere in the world.

  11. Hendra Reply

    I hope the people of Hollingdean enjoy fruitcake

  12. Karen v Reply

    I want someone who is for the many not the few
    Someone is backs BLM, extension rebellion, banning statues and who wants to get housing for all and someone who supports unemployed and backs free WiFi free school meals and free mental health support and who thinks we should clap nhs every week and clap those with mental health issues

  13. Paul m Reply

    For them many not them few. Init

  14. Henry Reply

    Awful choice. Am sure she will get a bit of support from scroungers on benefits who think they should get loads of money, housing and handouts for not been bothered to work and having loads of kids (but still have massive TVs and smoke).

  15. tired of boomer tories Reply

    The replies to this article just confirm that you’re all awful people and nothing else.

    • Chaz. Reply

      No dear, they are just fed up with the Gormless Greens and Labour loons.
      Sorry but unless you are braindead or a student and/or an associated hanger on, nobody else likes them.

      • Daniel Reply

        And yet the Greens won the most votes in the city in the last local elections and Labour won the most seats…

        If people were actually fed up of them, they would vote them out no? And don’t say that students are the ones propping them up – given how low turnout is among young people…

      • Robert Reply

        Brighton & Hove council results 2019:

        Greens 34.1%
        Labour 32.5%
        Tory 21.0%

        The numbers vary a little from election to election but broadly two thirds of Brighton & Hove voters vote for Green or Labour in every election. This is true for at least two decades.

        Perhaps if you engaged with people, with *actual* political argument rather than petty name calling, you may have a chance of changing peoples opinions?

        • Chaz. Reply

          So broadly vote Green you get Labour, vote Labour you get Green.
          It will be interesting to see if that continues.
          The more I see of this Green debacle, the less I think it will.
          Time will tell.
          Actual political argument is not Green virtue signalling over cycle lanes. We need basics and they are not delivering nor have they been for two decades.
          Looks like Phil McAvity will be going the same way as Kitkat.

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