Leicester’s Tricky 19: New Labour Careerists Seeking New Careers

UPDATE(October 8): Another Labour Councillor who clearly does not support Jeremy Corbyn is Stephen Corrall (Braunstone ward), as he June this year he was have a Blairite daydream (on Twitter) about how Labour’s leadership problems could have been avoided if David Miliband had previously been elected instead of his brother (see tweet at the bottom of this article). Article should now read Leicester’s Tricky 18.

UPDATE (August 23): Cllr Teresa Aldred writes in the comments below that she did not actually add her name to her list of Owen Smith supporters that can be found on Labourlist. This means the articles title should be Leicester’s Tricky 18. On August 24 Lucy Chaplin tweeted for the first time that she was not supporting Owen Smith, so the article should be Leicester’s Tricky 17.

Leicester is home to many careerist, cuts-voting Labour councillors, most of whom advertise the fact that they want to be deselected by the membership of their party in the near future.

Nine Labour councillors have already provided public backing for the coup against Jeremy Corbyn, as has Sir Peter Soulsby; but now another five councillors have pledged their support for coup-leader in residence, Owen Smith – these being Teresa Aldred, Piara Singh Clair, Sarah Russell, John Thomas, and Paul Westley.

It should be recognised that three other Leicester councillors additionally pledged their support for Owen Smith (Ratilal Govind, Rory Palmer, and Vijay Riyait), but these three had already been counted among those signing the earlier public statement from Labour councillors who supported the coup.

But let’s not stop there. So, on top of these 15 Blairites committed to opposing Corbyn, we might add four other locals to this list, these being: Harshad Bhavsar, Lucy Chaplin, George Cole, and Vi Dempster — as just last year they all publicly backed Blairite Liz Kendall against Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour Party. This brings the total number of local Labour councillors looking to be deselected to 19.

On a more positive note, Ross Willmott has changed his mind about Corbyn by voting for him at his recent CLP nomination meeting (as reported in the Leicester Mercury). This is after he publicly backed Kendall during last year’s leadership contest. Willmott, however, has chosen not to publicly back Corbyn’s continued leadership of his party (as Patrick Kitterick has).

On the other hand, only one Leicester councillor has flip-flopped away from publicly backing Corbyn (last month) to Smith (this month). The confused individual in question is Teresa Aldred, a councillor of dubious political persuasion, who was recruited to the Labour Party just last year after her previous and little-talked about dalliances with the British National Party!

The future of a socialist Labour Party is presently at stake, and locally Momentum are doing important work in strengthening public support for Jeremy Corbyn’s policies and continued leadership of the party. Nevertheless, it does seem strange that the only Labour councillor that I know of who supports Momentum’s activism, Dr Susan Barton, still refuses to join Patrick Kitterick in publicly espousing her preference for Corbyn. Hopefully this will change soon.




  1. Dear Michael,
    I have and am publicly backing Jeremy Corbyn, I signed the letter to the Mercury so did Lucy Chaplin.
    I proposed Jeremy at the Leicester east meeting.
    I would be Grateful if you would correct your blog.
    Many thanks

  2. Nice of you to worry about my deselection considering we’ve never met. You know nothing about me or my life. You won’t know my parents came to Leicester as migrants originally from the Punjab and then Tanzania. They never went to school and worked in the factories of Leicester. We spent most of my parents later life from the Thatcher period on benefits. My career is in the software industry and at 48 years old that is where all my working life has been spent. I was elected in 2013, hardly a career politician don’t you think? I was born and brought up in Leicester off the Narborough Rd. Great that a local lad has made good heh? I have fought the Govts cuts, opposing in Labour Group the cuts to our care homes, adventure playgrounds and recently supported the call in on the £250K to be spent on one street in the city centre. Do you want to know how Su Barton voted on that? Do you want to ask the Vaughan Centre campaigners what they think about me and my support? I’m happy to meet up with you and discuss my politics but I’m not sure why I have to explain my socialist values to you?!

  3. Id like to make It fully known I didn’t sign anything supporting Owen smith .
    Id like this noted whoever signed it wasn’t me ….

    Councillor Aldred

    • Teresa Aldred, why don’t you drop a quick email to the email address I mentioned before to get your name taken off the list of Owen Smith supporters that is still circulating on the internet?

  4. Stop acting like a petulant child, Mr Riyait. You stood for public office, making your political opinions and actions matters of interest to your electors and fellow party members. You stood on a Labour Party ticket. You have chosen to publicly undermine the democratically elected leader of the party, abusing your profile as a councillor in order to garner media coverage of this act of betrayal. These actions have prevented our party exploiting weaknesses in our opponents.
    It is entirely legitimate to question if your behaviour should lead to Labour Party members questioning your suitability for future office. It is called democracy and has nothing to do with you having met questioners in person.

  5. Dear Michael,
    The Mercury Letter supporting Jeremy Corbyn is signed by myself and Cllr Chaplin, indeed I helped draft the letter. I have endorsed him as a councillor and so have other members of the Labour Group on the City Council.

    • If you let me know who signed the “Councillors for Corbyn” letter I will write an article about it. If you just send me the press release you sent to the mainstream media I should be able to run that. I guess it is irritating that all the local media in Leicester have ignored the fact that so many local councillors are publicly backing Corbyn.

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