Last week Starmer's Labour commemorated the anniversary of Tony Blair's 1997 general election victory - as if it was something to be proud of. Clearly the intention was to show that Labour can win general elections, something that has eluded them for 17 years. Their inability to make any significant gains in the local elections suggests they won't change that any time soon. However, they can still achieve small victories, such as the forthcoming Wakefield parliamentary by-election. There is no date yet, but Labour are firm favourites to win back a seat vacated by Tory MP Imran Khan after his conviction for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. Although he announced his resignation in April, he did not actually resign until the beginning of this month and in doing so ensured he would receive his April salary.
With Labour's chances so promising, there was much speculation that a prominent figure could try and launch a comeback. Ed Balls was a name mooted by Labour sources, with backing from Gordon Brown, but he declined. It was also suggested that the hideous Mary Creagh could return to Wakefield following her 2019 defeat to Khan. She too declined.
Another name in the frame is trade unionist Kate Dearden. She has launched a website to further her cause and she talks herself up like any candidate would. Kate says she is a "lifelong trade unionist" with a "strong record" who has "dedicated her life to the Labour movement". Kate is 28 by the way.
|Kate Dearden pictured with Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips|
In a video released on her social media accounts Kate recounts the experience of her father whose employers had to close down the print shop where he worked. She was just 15 when this happened and it spurred her on to 'dedicate her life' etc etc. The problem with this is that when Kate was 15 there was no nasty Tory government in office. It was not the 1980s or even the 1990s. No, when Kate was 15 there had been a Labour government in office for more than a decade. Oops.
Click below for the video.
If Kate is selected as Labour's candidate in Wakefield she appears to be following in the New Labour tradition of never having done a proper day's work in her life. According to her LinkedIn account she graduated from university and went straight into Labour activism and later as a trade unionist pen pusher - sorry, 'researcher'.
It will also be interesting to see how Kate would quantify her stated position as a 'feminist' in the modern Labour Party, considering that females have been cancelled by the current leader. Tricky. Good luck Kate!
Wakefield general election 2019 result
Imran Khan (Con) 21,283 (47.3%) +2.3%
Mary Creagh (Lab) 17,925 (39.8%) –9.9%
Peter Wiltshire (Brexit) 2,725 (6.1%) New
Jamie Needle (LDem) 1,772 (3.9%) +1.9%
Ryan Kett (Yorks) 868 (1.9%) -0.6%
Stephen Whyte (Ind) 454 (1.0%) New