Friday, 11 April 2014

Croydon Labour in Turmoil as Senior Councillor Speaks Out Against Leadership

Under pressure: Croydon Labour Leader facing revolt
SENIOR sources inside the Croydon Labour party have publicly criticised the group’s disastrous campaign that is threatening to see the party walk into its third straight election defeat, The Croydon Gazette can reveal.

Senior sources within the group gave exclusive quotes to local newspaper The Croydon Advertiser revealing the extent of split within the group. The source said, “There have been many concerns with how the Labour Group has been managed over a significant period of time. Regrettably many of those strands are coming together at a most unwelcome time. The lack of unity within the party is diverting attend and efforts away from what is the major goal, which is to gain power.”

Labour leader Tony Newman has come under severe criticism for his mis-management of the campaign, which has seen the group AXE its only domestic violence spokesperson, Karen Jewitt, who had campaigned to protect women who have been battered by their partners. Jewitt had also been raising awareness of online abuse and how violent wife beaters have been using Twitter and blogs to attack the friends of their victims to isolate the person they are abusing.

A Tory source said, “The Croydon Labour group has said that it wants to make tackling wife beaters a top priority, but their actions show they are turning a blind eye to these monsters. Wife beaters are bullies and cowards who lie and cheat their way through life - Karen was the voice against them and sacking her sends out the wrong signal.”

Research should that wife beaters are using sites like Twitter to target women

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Croydon Radio Journalist Hits Back at Labour’s Smears

RESPECTED Croydon journalist and radio presenter Bieneosa Ebite has defended her decision to confront a candidate standing for the National Front on her In the Loop show and has hit back at a vicious smear campaign orchestrated via the notorious Inside Croydon blog. Ebite, whose parents were originally from Nigeria, put National Front candidate Tony Martin on the spot live on air and had to endure comments about repatriation in a challenging interview.

The bold move won praise from some of Croydon’s politicians including Gavin Barwell MP and others who believe “these views need to be exposed & confronted.”

But that didn’t stop fellow Croydon Radio presenter and Labour candidate Andrew Pelling from resigning in disgust, an announcement delivered live on air by his close friend and mentor, Labour Leader Tony Newman. But the next morning, Ebite found herself plastered across the Inside Croydon blog with the station’s founder interviewed by the blog.

But today Ebite hit back at the smear campaign saying, “I have noted that a small element associated with an aforementioned blog site, has sought to smear the quality of my broadcasts and I believe that their reports in relation to this have been misleading. I feel their attitude towards me and my decision to interview Tony Martin has been patronising.”

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Croydon Labour Leader Stumbles in First Leaders’ Radio Debate

Croydon Radio: Newman (Left) Fisher (Right)
Croydon Labour Leader Tony Newman repeatedly stumbled in the first Radio debate ahead of the Croydon Local Elections 2014. In the live interview on the In the Loop show hosted by Bieneosa Ebite, Newman went head-to-head against current Conservative Leader Mike Fisher in the first in a string of debates that will decide who governs Croydon for the next four years.

Labour’s Newman focussed the debate around Labour’s pocket manifesto entitled ‘Ambitious for Croydon’ but Fisher hit back claiming the document should be called ‘Ambivalent for Croydon’. On the attack, Fisher then said that the Labour leader makes a detailed pitch on what he wants to do for Croydon, but nowhere in the document does he explain how he is going to pay for it, accusing Labour of being dishonest with the people of Croydon.

Fisher then moved the debate onto Council Tax attacking Labour for increasing Council Tax by 27% and 36% when they were last in the Town Hall. Newman responded by saying that the Tories were obsessed with things that happened ten years ago, Fisher reminded Newman that the reason for this is that it was then that Labour were last in power.

Newman ended the debate by plugging his best friend Andrew Pelling, with Fisher saying “Let’s talk about Andrew Pelling shall we…” before the presenter cut the interview short.

The lacklustre performance from the usually booming and passionate Labour leader has underlined fears within the Labour group that its personal attack campaign is beginning to backfire badly in swing seats such as Waddon and New Addington.

Polling shows a close race in both seats with everything left to play for, but voters have become disenchanted with Labour due to its repeated attacks on the private lives, character and families of Conservative candidates via sites such as the Inside Croydon Blog, which Newman regularly writes for.

In one post, Local New Addington resident Tony Pearson is branded a ‘Pillock’, a fact that has not gone down well with local people in the marginal ward. “Conservative Councillor Tony Pearson is a decent, local family man who has lived in New Addington all his life and does not deserve this kind of personal abuse from Labour,” said one source.

*Listen to the show by clicking here

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Lazy Labour Candidates Given CONTRACTS to Force them to Campaign in Croydon

Lazy: Croydon Labour candidates forced to sign paperwork 

RELAXED Labour candidates in the Croydon Labour Party are being issued contracts to ensure they campaign in the local elections, The Croydon Gazette can reveal. 

The official contracts are said to enforce a minimum of two hours of work per week and have been defended by Labour’s Chief Whip Pat Ryan. Ryan told local paper The Croydon Advertiser, “Getting elected and then ignoring their ward for four years is not our way.”

But the revelations will raise further questions about why Labour candidates in the London borough of Croydon need to be forced to work for their constituents. Labour have already selected candidates who live many miles away from New Addington and the contracts could be a way to ensure the candidates take a tram or bus journey to the area they are hoping to represent.

Responding to the revelations, Labour Leader Tony Newman said, “We have large numbers of candidates out on the doorsteps so this is not an issue.”

A Tory source said, “Unlike Labour, Conservative candidates such as local New Addington people like Lara Fish and Tony Pearson do not need a contract to force them to stand up for their area. They thrive on working for their local community and are proud to live in New Addington and serve the people of Croydon.”

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Croydon Labour’s ‘Staggering Hypocrisy’ Over Pledge to Tackle Wife Beaters

Betrayed: Domestic Violence Campaigner before her deselection
The Croydon Labour party was last night accused of staggering hypocrisy over its pledge to make tackling domestic violence a top priority – after The Croydon Gazette revealed that the group AXED its domestic violence spokesperson. Last summer the party ruthlessly deselected Karen Jewitt, a Woodside ward colleague of Labour Leader Tony Newman, despite many years of service to her constituents.

Jewitt, who campaigned relentlessly against wife beaters, once said, “The threat or reality of sexual and domestic violence impacts on the lives of many women. A third of all women experience domestic violence at some point in their lives, and around 25 London women are killed by their current or former partner each year.”

“Violence against women - especially domestic violence - has been identified as a key issue in all London boroughs in the crime audits and community safety plans drawn up under the Crime and Disorder Act,” she added.

Conservative members were left genuinely shocked at the sacking of a popular and well-liked woman who had campaigned for some of Croydon’s most vulnerable women.

It is understood that Jewitt was campaigning specifically around the growing problem of wife beaters using social media sites like blogs to target the friends and family members of their victims – a strategy to leave the victim feeling isolated and vulnerable.

A source inside Croydon Conservatives said, “We have a zero tolerance approach to wife beaters.”

In January the Metropolitan Police revealed a 15.5 per cent increase in domestic violence. Jewitt has since secured her position as a candidate in another seat. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Why Croydon Labour’s New Addington Campaign is Faltering

Community First - but Labour have selected candidates who live elsewhere 
National polling has indicated a sharp post-budget bounce for the Conservatives, a factor which leaves the local elections in the London borough of Croydon too close to call. The Conservatives and Labour are locked in a bitter battle in the upwardly mobile New Addington ward, with issues such as Council Tax and local candidates being key issues on the agenda of local people.

The ward, once considered safe territory for Labour, was rocked at the last election when Conservative candidate Tony Pearson was elected in a surprise victory. Such an outcome should have immediately set alarm bells ringing amongst Labour strategists who could, and should have ensured local candidates were put forward for 2014. The Conservatives, seeing the opportunity to take two seats from Labour in its home turf have selected local New Addington residents Lara Fish and Tony Pearson again.

The sense of panic is the Labour campaign can be seen with the relentless arrival of Shadow Cabinet Ministers in New Addington, with Chuka Umunna, Rachel Reeves and even Alan Johnson making guest appearances in the ward. But Labour have struggled to justify the credibility of its candidates, choosing representatives who live in Thornton Heath and Shirley. In a tight-knit local community, the line “Not living in New Addington, but able to stand up for New Addington” is seen as an insult to local people.

Under the leadership of Tony Newman, the local Labour Party has also toxified its once loved working class brand, by launching a string of vicious attacks against Tony Pearson, despite the fact that he is known and well-liked in New Addington. In one post, an article on a Labour supporting blog had a photograph of Pearson next to the word ‘Pillock’ attacking his job. Another alleged Labour trainer claimed on Twitter that New Addington was ‘a hole’.

It is a strategy that more respectable, decent Labour Party members such as Gerry Ryan and Stuart Collins would never either endorse of encourage, but under Tony Newman negative, personal campaigning has become central to the Croydon Labour Party’s approach to politics. Mr Newman has been asked several times to condemn or distance himself from the muck throwing, but robustly defended it on live radio.

Ask anyone in the Council chamber or the town hall who has found themselves on the receiving end of Croydon Labour’s smear campaign or on the Inside Croydon blog and they will tell you just how nasty and rotten the once respected local party has become.

But residents in New Addington are not fools and regard the smearing of one of their own as an insult to their community and their town. Croydon Labour have the wrong strategy, the wrong candidates and the wrong leader, and voters will punish them heavily for it on May 22.