“I believe Gordon Brown is the worst Prime Minister we have had in this country”. “All the policies he is bringing in are a total disaster”. Strong words indeed from any political opponent. And yet these comments have been made by one of Labour’s own Parliamentary candidates. Manish Sood, a Leicester City Councillor, is standing for Labour in the constituency of North West Norfolk where incumbent Conservative MP Henry Bellingham, a barrister and old Etonian, beat his Labour opponent Damien Welfare back in 2005 with a majority of over nine thousand and a turnout of sixty one percent.
In a series of increasingly outspoken comments to the media, Mr Sood claims that Mr Brown is “a disgrace” and that Labour ministers are “corrupt”. Bizarrely, despite declaring Mr Sood’s remarks as “dreadful”, the national Labour Party has not seen fit to withdraw the party whip, and thus Mr Sood will still be standing on Thursday as an official Labour candidate. Apparently the Labour Party tried to deselect Mr Sood, but this ‘foundered on a technicality’.
Even more odd? David Collis, Chairman of North West Norfolk Constituency Labour Party is quoted as saying that “Manish has been divorced from this campaign for some time”. What campaign? My brother-in-law who lives in the constituency has over the years helped Henry Bellingham in his election campaigns to great effect. Perhaps I should ring him to suggest they recruit Mr Sood, as he’s clearly not interested in fighting Labour’s corner.