Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Labour Party's election request is kicked into touch

Uk Labour supporters in Northern Ireland had a swift intake of breath on receiving the latest begging letter from Tom Watson, the party's campaign manager.

It quoted Ed Miliband (right), the party leader, as a man who could unite the country against another term of Tory rule.

"On Saturday, Ed set out his One Nation vision for Britain and a Labour Party fighting for fairness in the North, South, East and West - in Scotland and in Wales. There will be no 'no-go areas'," Mr Watson enthused, urging members to "donate now".

Except there is one 'no-go' area. On the very day the missive arrived, the National Executive Committee was deciding to kick the Northern Ireland Constituency Labour Party's request to stand in elections into touch - at least until after the next general election.

Instead, it will enter into discussions with the SDLP and Irish Labour with an eye to co-ordinating policies before the 2014 European elections.

A UK Labour source said: "It is possible that a member of the Northern Ireland CLP will be invited to the discussions.

"Labour is not entering an electoral pact with the SDLP, in the way that the Conservatives did with the Ulster Unionists.

"We want to work with Left-minded people to see how we can deliver centre-Left politics in Northern Ireland and co-operate on a British/Irish level."

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