Up until this point I have remained quiet on who I will be supporting to be the next Labour Parliamentary Prospective Candidate for Stoke-on-Trent North. As many people will be aware I am an active member of the Labour Party and I believe in what the party stands for. As a member of the CLP Executive Committee I decided not to put myself forward to be on the Selection Committee because I want to back a candidate from the start. Stoke North’s selection process needs to be professional and transparent. Therefore I can announce I am endorsing Ruth Smeeth to be our PPC.
I have been aware of Ruth for quite some time. She has been known to attend many events and Labour campaign days in Stoke, way before Joan announced her retirement. A lot of us believed Joan would do at least another term. Ruth’s background as a Hope Not Hate co-ordinator and her fight against fascism really does inspire me and others. Her experience in this area can definitely be put into practice to protect the City and Borough from the BNP and extreme elements of UKIP.
Ruth Smeeth has been the perfect campaigner and most definitely inspires people to get out there and speak to people on the doorstep. That is what we are about after all, putting people first and listening. I joined the campaign trail in the Baddely, Milton and Norton by-election to see Ruth working really hard with our candidate. She lit up my day on the doorstep, a real people person and able to relate to working class folk on the doorstep. Ruth has attended numerous campaign days in Kidsgrove and isn’t afraid of hard work.
It was only recently that I was on a training course in Manchester and I met members of the Labour Party from Burton. Ruth was mentioned in the conversations and those people speaking about her didn’t have a bad word to say. They told me how lucky the people of Stoke North would be if Ruth put herself forward.
The day Joan Walley announced her retirement I felt totally devastated. Joan has been one of the most dedicated MP’s I have ever met and she always puts her constituents first. She never gives up the fight against social injustice. Joan is a true friend of mine and I have learnt so much from this respectable lady. After doing a lot of thinking, I had no choice but to endorse Ruth who I believe will follow in Joan’s footsteps and do a really good job. Ruth is young, vibrant and will bring a fresh approach to politics that this country so desperately needs. She is not a candidate being shipped in from London, something I hope we never see happen again.
So good luck to all of the candidates putting themselves forward, but I have my fingers, legs and toes crossed for Ruth.
You can find out more about Ruth and her endorsers at: http://www.ruthsmeeth.org.uk
Joan Walley MP has today revealed National Housing Federation figures which show 1295 Stoke north and Kidsgrove residents will be hit by the government’s ‘Bedroom Tax’ losing on average £728 per year.The Bedroom Tax will hit 660,000 households, two thirds of them home to someone with a disability, at exactly the same time as the Government gives a massive £100,000 tax cut to 13,000 millionaires.
“David Cameron’s Bedroom Tax will hammer families in Stoke-on-Trent and Kidsgrove already struggling to make ends meet, and could actually risk costing tax-payers a fortune in higher private rents. These ill thought out plans will hit hardest in the areas with the greatest need and show a blatant disregard for the most vulnerable people.
“The majority of the households hit are home to someone with a disability, and the families of soldiers and foster parents will also be hit. Yet at the same time prisoners get off and millionaires are getting a massive tax cut. How can that be right?”
Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne said:
“David Cameron’s April tax plan is simply not fair. From next month, 13,000 millionaires are getting a tax cut worth £100,000 a year on average while over 600,000 armed forces families, disabled people and foster carers have to find £728 a year to pay a new bedroom tax.
“Yet the plan is such a shambles that someone who’s been to prison on a short sentence won’t have to pay. How unfair is that? Millionaires and prisoners are looked after but vulnerable people, carers and armed forces families get hit.
“Labour plan relentless pressure on this out of touch government until Ministers see sense, admit this policy is totally unfair and think again.”