Labour Party Stalwart Barry Stockley Placed Under Administratative Suspension

The Labour Party have placed party stalwart and Chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent CLP under administrative suspension.

The move comes after a series of high profile bust ups in the months leading up to the Local & General Elections.

A number of leading Stoke Central Labour Party activists have since walked out of the party.

The trouble began with the controversial selection of candidates for the local elections, There were then a series of bust ups between officers of Stoke Central CLP and the Labour Party Regional Office West Midlands which included declaring an AGM null and void and the selection of Mick Williams as a “Ëœcandidate in principle’ for the Hartshill & Penkull ward.

The selection was later overturned by the ROWM and a candidate was selection from 2 names chosen by them.

The selection of Tristram Hunt as the Labour Party PPC was also shrouded in controversy.

Gary Elsby, the Secretary of the Stoke Central CLP, left the party in protest at the selection of Mr Hunt and stood against him in the General Election.

The Labour Party appeared to be somewhat vindicated by the results of the Party both locally and nationally.

Locally the Labour Party made 12 gains on Stoke-on-Trent City Council, taking 17 out of the 20 available seats.

In the General Election Tristram Hunt defeated the Lib Dems into 2nd place, the Conservatives into 3rd and the BNP into 4th place. Gary Elsby finished in 7th place with 399 votes.

Barry Stockley today confirmed that he had been suspended and that the party were holding an investigation that could result in a disciplinary hearing. He also said that he has the support of new Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt and his predecessor Mark Fisher.

Mr Stockley has also been praised for the amount of work he put into the General Election campaign and several ex and current members have appealed that the Regional Office take this into consideration when imposing any punishment or sanctions upon him.

While the suspension is in force Mr Stockley is prevented from holding any office within the Labour Party which could mean he will be unable to put himself forward for the Chair of the CLP at their upcoming AGM.

A spokesperson for the City of Stoke-on-Trent Labour Party confirmed that Mr Stockley was under administrative suspension and that the AGM would take “Ëœplace as soon as possible’ and that it was important to get all members of Stoke-on-Trent CLP to attend the meeting to have their say on the direction that the CLP takes in the future.

It was also confirmed that several CLP members had expressed an interest in standing for office within the party.

500 Words From Matthew Wright TUSC Candidate For Stoke-on-Trent Central


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**Archive Story From 2010 Election**
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Cameron, Clegg and Brown have been doing their best to hide their main policy
““ to carry out savage attacks on public sector jobs and services, to continue sacrificing the lives of young soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and talking up a capitalist market system that’s created mass unemployment,
job insecurity and a desperate future for millions.
Meanwhile Stoke Socialist Party and Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supporters have been busy building support for our General Election candidate in Stoke Central ““ Matt Wright. If elected, Matt will not take the full £65,000 MP’s salary but the average wage of workers in Stoke-on-Trent and demand that other MP’s do the same.

But, as an MP, Matt would also use his position to oppose all the attacks being made on ordinary working class people. We already have three main parties who represent the interests of big business and the rich. We need MP’s who fight for us ““ for the millions not the millionaires!

While Brown, Clegg and Cameron and their army of advisers are thinking up catchy sound bites for the media and squabbling with each other we have been busy actually speaking to THOUSANDS of people locally on the streets and
doorsteps.

More than 3,000 have now signed our petition (Ninety five per cent of those we spoke to) to get Matt elected as a Workers MP on a Workers Wage.

Matt Wright lives in Stoke-on-Trent and is from the city. He is a 26 year old Health worker, also a student and as the TUSC candidate has clear policies that would benefit the overwhelming majority of people in the city. They include;

PUBLIC OWNERSHIP, NOT PRIVATISED PROFIT
Stop all privatisation, including the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), and the immoral privatisation of prisons. Bring privatised public services and utilities back into public ownership
under democratic control.

NO CUTS – QUALITY PUBLIC SERVICES
Take rail back into public ownership and build an integrated, low-pollution public transport system.
For a high-quality, free National Health Service under democratic public ownership and control.
Stop council estate sell-offs and build eco-friendly, affordable public housing.
Good, free education for all, under democratic local authority control;
student grants not fees.
Keep Royal Mail as a publicly-owned service, not a privatised cash cow.

JOBS, NOT HANDOUTS TO BANKERS & BILLIONAIRES
Bring banks and finance institutions into genuine public ownership under democratic control, instead of giving huge handouts to the very capitalists who caused the crisis.
Tax the rich. For progressive tax on rich corporations and individuals, with a crackdown on tax avoidance.
For massive investment in environmental projects.

EMPLOYMENT & TRADE UNION RIGHTS
Repeal the anti-trade union laws.
A minimum wage set at half average adult male earnings, with no exemptions.
Invest to create and protect jobs, including for young people.
Solidarity with workers taking action to defend jobs, conditions, pensions, public services and trade unions. Reinstate full trade union rights to prison officers.

You can find out more about the TUSC General Election campaign and the Stoke Socialist Party using the links below.

Finally; instead of the internal squabbling, name calling and tough talking we have had so far from candidates in Stoke Central we look forward to seeing their POLICIES.

Matthews agent send the most in-depth response to our request for 500 words, in fact it was almost double the size we asked for and has been shortened here. The text file has the full response should you wish to read it.

Election Special: Norsheen Bhatti Conservative PPC for Stoke-on-Trent Central Clashes with the BNP

Norsheen Bhatti the Conservative Party Candidate for Stoke-on-Trent Central is one determined lady.

Her selection was not without controversy when it was revealed that Norsheen was a part-time belly dancer.

She has taken her campaign to the people of Stoke-on-Trent Central and she is encouraged by the positive reaction and the support she has received whilst out canvassing.

Last night [Wednesday] Norsheen crossed swords with British National Party PPC & Deputy Chairman Simon Darby at a hustings organised by the Community Schools Action Group.

In response to a comment made by a member of the audience Norsheen said: “there is nothing British about the BNP”

Simon Darby replied: “well I’m more British than you”

Norsheen demand an explanation from Mr Darby for the remark and he responded by saying that she had made a personal attack on him and she had got one back.

On a day of political gaffe’s, Mr Darby’s comment was misguided to say the least and he gave this explanation on his blog: “Previously she had stated she didn’t want to be photographed next to me, then referring directly to me she stated “there’s nothing British about the BNP”.

Having spent the last twenty years virtually dedicating my life to my nation and my people, that wasn’t exactly the best thing to say to me. Instantly I responded, “well I am more British than you are”, which, despite her subsequent attempts for victimhood, effectively sealed her fate”.

Norsheen Bhatti is quite a tenacious debater and rarely ducks an issue.

We managed to catch up with her today for an exclusive interview.

She revealed that even when out canvassing in areas of the City that are represented solely by the BNP she had never had a racist or derogatory comment aimed at her.

Watch the video below.

Gary Elsby Independent PPC For Stoke-on-Trent Central Policy Statement

By Gary Elsby Independent PPC Stoke Central

It was a life-changing, but quick decision, to step out of the Labour Party at what I see as an intrusion into local Party democracy by Lord Mandelson with an intent not in the best interests of the City. As a consequence, I have been asked to state the differences between the policies of the National Labour Party and my own, which are long held but stifled under what goes for “Ëœagreement’ at the Annual Conference held each year by the Labour Party.

A future fair for all, (but this time, including the people of England and Great Britain)

* Pensioners:

The rise of annual increase in pensions is either linked to prices or inflation. We know that the lowest always wins and pensioners always come off worse. Pensions should therefore be determined on an annual basis, with the higher of the two references used to set the increase. Determined efforts should be made to end the tax system on pensions by people who have paid tax all of their working lives.

* Families:

Universal family allowance should be ended for people earning above £75,000 and redistributed to those on less than £30,000. This gives it to families needing it the most.

No family with school age children should be subject to an eviction order due to economic circumstances beyond their control and legislation must be forwarded to enforce such repulsive acts are outlawed.

* Housing:

At least 1 Million new Council/Social Housing homes should be built, which would ease the need of 5 Million people needing a home who cannot afford to enter the private market. This would create hundreds of Millions of paid working hours, hundreds of thousands of new construction jobs and tens of thousands of new apprenticeships. Rents should be ring-fenced and paid back into sustaining the housing stock for the future.

* Economy:

We should grow our economy and not return to a “Ëœcut and slash’ approach to repay National debt.

* Tax Increases:

The Universal approach to National Insurance increases is wholly wrong and must be stopped. We should remove the thresh-hold of the upper earnings limit and those that earn the most, should pay the most. A VAT increase claims all victims, regardless of how much or how little they earn and must not be introduced. A City such as Stoke is a regenerating area and it simply does not make sense to tax it. These measures remove that threat.

* Health Service:

Free prescriptions should be available for everyone in England requiring one, just like the rest of the UK. A freeze in NHS spending will be the severest CUT ever introduced in the NHS since inception and must not be introduced…

* Health care for the Elderly:

The dreadful £23,000 “ËœDeath Tax’ now dropped by Labour and the Tory “Ëœinvoice’ of £8,000 to pay for minimal care for the elderly was embarrassing. I would only support a “Ëœring fenced’ National Insurance increase solely to administer “Ëœfree care’ which would submit responsibility to the Country and give dignity and respect to the elderly.

* Schools:

Communities know what is best for their individual areas and not always the politician and should therefore have a more significant say in what happens in their local area. Community schools must be promoted as the best example of better education for all and the Academy system must be held to account.

* Trident and ID cards:

The Trident missile purchase must be dropped as an unnecessary expense in these times of social hardship considering we have more WMD now than we ever need or shall ever use. ID cards should be considered an expensive and irrelevant intrusion into our lives.

* Justice:

The right to remain free must be held uppermost in a society that will, if it is allowed, detain without charge beyond a time limit that is considered unjust by the majority.

* Immigration:

An end to mass immigration should be introduced and a cap on immigration of 50,000 nett per annum should be used to sustain a level of 70 million population at its highest.

* Energy:

A diverse and wide-ranging energy source should be arrived at that involves all kinds of material uses, including Clean Coal Technology for North Staffordshire Coal fields, nuclear, oil, gas and including greener methods of production to comply with EU guidelines.

* People:

Government must be made aware that ordinary people and business, now feel a shared burden of persecution by the State upon a weary public and a new approach must be made that lifts this burden in an effort to promote a more just and social society.

Gary Elsby

Prospective Parliamentary candidate

Born in Stoke Central.

Nick Griffin Launches BNP Manifesto In Stoke-on-Trent Central

The Chairman of the British National Party Nick Griffin chose to launch his party’s manifesto in the city he describes as the BNP ‘Jewel In The Crown’ – Stoke-on-Trent. He described the manifesto as the most comprehensive his party have ever produced and that it proves that there is more to the BNP than immigration. Simon Darby the party’s PPC for Stoke-on-Trent Central was also in attendance as was Michael Coleman PPC for Stoke-on-Trent South and Melanie Baddelely the PPC for Stoke-on-Trent North.

BNP-Manifesto-5

The manifesto was launched in the grand setting of the Council Chamber and also featured a party supporter dressed as St George who escorted Mr Griffin into the chamber accompanied by applause from a number of party supporters, members and BNP councillors.

Nick Griffin enters the council chamber with 'St George'

After Mr Griffins overview of the Manifesto journalists were invited to take interviews.

We bring you Interviews with The Leader Nick Griffin, Deputy Leader and PPC for Stoke central,Simon Darby and PPC for Stoke South Michael Coleman. To access the entire range of Pits n Pots video interviews, visit our YouTube Channel by clicking the ‘our youtube’ tab at the top of the page. As with all BNP events there were protesters outside the venue. 

Protesters from " Nothing British about the BNP" and a small group from Staffordshire University lead by former S.U Leader Assed Baig kept a constant vigil outside the Civic Centre.
Protesters outside the BNP manifesto launch
Pits and Pots waited the whole day to bring you the whole interviews, Melanie Baddeley unfortunately had to leave early.  We did manage to get interviews with Nick Griffin, Simon Darby and Mike Coleman, which can be viewed below.

Stoke-on-Trent General Election 2010 The Candidates

The nominations for the General Election closed at 1600 this evening and here is the final list of candidates for the 3 constituencies in Stoke-on-Trent.

Stoke-on-Trent North

Melanie Jane BADDELEY – British National Party

John Malcolm FISHER – Liberal Democrats

Andy LARGE – The Conservative Party Candidate

Geoffrey Lewis Edward LOCKE – UK Independence Party (UKIP)

Joan Lorraine WALLEY – The Labour Party Candidate

Stoke-on-Trent Central

Norsheen BHATTI – The Conservative Party Candidate

Paul Derrick BREEZE – Independent

Simon DARBY – British National Party

Gary ELSBY

Tristram HUNT – The Labour Party Candidate

Carol LOVATT – United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)

John Phillip REDFERN – Liberal Democrats

Alby WALKER – Independent

Brian WARD – City Independent

Matt WRIGHT – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Stoke-on-Trent South

Zulfiqar ALI – Liberal Democrats

Mark Harry BARLOW – UK Independence Party (UKIP)

Mark BREEZE – Independent

Michael COLEMAN – British National Party

Rob FLELLO – The Labour Party Candidate

Terry FOLLOWS – Staffordshire Independent Group

James Stuart RUSHTON – The Conservative Party Candidate

Bhatti Goes Boxing

Conservative PPC for the hotly contested Stoke-on-Trent Central seat Norsheen Bhatti spent some time training with 10 – 18 year old boxers at the YMCA in Hanley.

Norsheen said, ‘So far in this election campaign, this was one of the best times I’ve had. It was great to see all children of all ages, of all cultures come together and play a sport which they are so passionate about.

It is also encouraging to see how people (the adults running the club) in our community give up their spare time to work within the Community and is just like the social and community activity which David Cameron and the Conservatives will encourage, support and want to see more of.

The boxing club is a fantastic way in which the young boys keep out of trouble, keep off the streets and learn about respect, responsibility, giving them a goal, something to work towards. We in Stoke should be proud of the YMCA boxing club, especially as the club has cultivated our youths talent and some of the boys are even going on to compete in regional and international competitions and winning!’

Over the weekend Norsheen was out and about in Hanley bus station and in the shopping centre telling people about the Conservative reform plans to make the changes the NHS needs.

As the party of the NHS, Conservatives will never change the idea at the heart of our NHS ““ that healthcare in this country is free at the point of use and available to everyone based on need, not ability to pay. Labour promised to save the NHS but today, despite the massive increase in spending, the gap in health outcomes between the UK and the rest of Europe has actually widened.

Commenting, Norsheen said, ‘When you’re more likely to die of cancer in Britain than most other countries in Europe ““ and when the number of managers in the NHS is rising almost three times as fast as the number of nurses ““ the question isn’t whether the NHS should change, it’s how the NHS should change.

We have a reform plan to make the changes the NHS needs. Our reform plan, detailed in this Draft Manifesto, is based on the methods of the post-bureaucratic age ““ decentralisation, accountability and transparency.

Only by voting for the Conservatives on May the 6th in Stoke Central will we see the changes our city desperately needs.’

Labour Threaten Gary Elsby With Legal Action

Stoke-on-Trent Central Independent candidate and ex Labour Party member Gary Elsby has been threatened with legal action by a legal firm working on behalf of the Labour Party.

London law firm Gregory Rowcliffe Milners, acting on behalf of the Labour Party have sent Mr Elsby a letter regarding his use of a red rosette and the use of the word ‘Labour’.

In a statement Mr Elsby said,’They seem to think I am a credible threat if they are sending out this kind of mail. Thankfully my daughter has designed a new rosette for me, the red and white of Stoke, which better reflects my local roots compared to their parachuted in London puppet candidate, Tristram Hunt.’

Councillor Mike Barnes who was confirmed as Mr Elsbys campaign manager last week said, ‘This doesn’t surprise me at all from the Labour Party. It’s just the kind of bullying tactics we are used to seeing when we were members, and one of the reasons we have left. It doesn’t affect us one bit but they must be getting worried. We are getting a great response from the public who are sick and tired of being taken for granted in Stoke. Many agree that this should be about our city and its people, not party political games for Mandelson and Brown’s cronies.’

Mr Elsby has said that he is already suing the Labour Party over his shocking treatment in their candidate selection process.