Contrary to expectations Bank Holiday Monday was hot with bright sunshine all day. Where better to go than East Ham High Street for a Labour Party street stall and canvass True red Labour Newham did not disappoint. About 50 members of the local Labour Party turned out to help us distribute leaflets, including Newham’s Executive Mayor, Sir Robin Wales. Also present were Councillor Unmesh Desai who organised the campaign day, Deputy Mayor Cllr Christine Bowden and other Council Members.
It was good to see so many councillors present as, in addition to Euro leaflets, we were handing out information on free school meals. Newham Council has just introduced free school meals in all primary schools in the borough, one of only two Councils in England to do this,
We were all pleased to see the Labour Party General Secretary Ray Collins, and the Director of the London Labour Party, Ken Clark. Euro MPs and candidates Claude Moraes and Anne Fairweather were also in East Ham enjoying the weather as was my old friend, ex-MEP and Newham resident Anita Pollack.
Very many thanks to everyone who worked so hard on Bank Holiday Monday. I know we can always rely on Newham.
Perivale, Ealing, on the day after Dagenham provided an intersting contrast. While Dagenham is still overwhelmingly white, Perivale is a model multi-racial community.
I canvassed with Wiktor Moszczynski, a Polish Labour activist for many years, and Tariq Mahmood, the Constituency Labour Party Campaigns Officer, both pictured.
As well as Poles and Asians, we met other Eastern Europeans plus Lebanese and others of Arabic origin. It was good to see them all getting on so well in a tuly integrated area.
Anne Fairweather and I were joined by local MP Stephen Pound.
Thanks to Stephen, Wiktor, Tariq and Labour Party member is Ealing.
Dagenham on Saturday saw many of us on the knocker. I spent some time out and about meeting those who had decided to spend the bank holiday weekend at home.
Both the local MP Jon Cruddas and GLA Member John Biggs turned out along with Euro candidates Anne Fairweather, Emma Jones and Nilgun Canver.
I was especially pleased to see John Biggs whom I have known for over 20 years. Many thanks to him, John Cruddas and Dagenham Labour Party
Organised for the community press, we had a fantastic Bengali launch of the European election campaign on Thursday. Parvez Ahmed, owner of the Shamrat restaurant in Kilburn High Road, put on an event to be proud of, providing lunch for 70 – 80 people. Thanks to Parvez for all his work and commitment to Labour, which goes back many years. I remeber Parvez putting on a similar event during the European election campaign in 2004 and I know he has done very many other things for the Labour Party over time.
Following an introduction to the Euro campaign by Baroness Delith Morgan, who I have known for many years as we were both involved in children’s charities in our past lives, we were treated to the star of the show – a presentation to my colleague and friend, retiring MEP Robert Evans. The Bengali community had organised a trophy plaque with a beautiful inscription thanking him for all the work he has done for them. Congratulations Robert and very well deserved.
The event was attended by a star-studded cast – local MPs Glenda Jackson and Dawn Butler, local councillors including Lena Ahmed, Euro MPs and candidates Claude Moraes, Anne Fairweather, Raj Jethwa, Abdul Asad as well as what seemed like the whole of the Bengali media.
I enjoyed the curry very much. Congratulations also to the chef!
Out and about yesterday in Kings Cross I was pleased to be working with ward councillor Abdul Hai, who I am happy to say is a councillor local to me. It was, in fact, very good to be talking to people in the Kings Cross area as it’s the nearest to my home I have been during this campaign.
The indefatigable Anne Fairweather was with me again and Tom Copley the Labour organiser in Camden. We were also joined by Cllr. Nargis Khan from Hackney (not pictured).
Abdul and I had a lovely talk with Thelma Dowsett who remembered the previous MP for Holborn, Lena Jeger, whose niece Jenny was a friend of mine. It was all a bit nostalgic and took me back a few years!
My fellow Labour candidates for the European elections Anne Fairweather and Emma Jones
Easter Saturday saw me campaigning for the European elections in Lewisham. The local Labour Party organised a street stall and, together with my fellow Euro candidates Emma Jones and Anne Fairweather and several local activists, I handed out a newspaper style leaflet on Labour in Europe in the street market, a busy place even on a holiday weekend. My thanks to Ken Clark and the London Labour Party for producing the literature, the second such leaflet we have had for the European elections on 4th June. Thank you also to all the Labour Party members who organised the day.