Emily Thornberry attacks Tories over Brexit and customs union
The Shadow Foreign Secretary was in Watford on 2nd March where lashed Theresa May’s record on Brexit saying, “The Prime minister is only interested in addressing divisions in the Conservative Party, not in doing the right thing for Britain. We are heading for a disastrous Brexit under her leadership. Labour supports the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU to ensure frictionless trade and protect thousands of jobs in place like Watford. Yet Theresa May is prepared to see the M2 motorway become a huge lorry park and to jeopardise the Good Friday agreement in Ireland with a hard border. I hope it won’t be long before there is a General Election and Labour can take over these negotiations in Britain’s interests.”
Labour Shadow Ministers in Watford
Shadow Minister for Brexit, Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Women and Equalities Minister, Dawn Butler were in Watford on Saturday 24th February support local mayoral candidate Jagtar Singh Dhindsa and promote Labour's Day of Action on police cuts in Hertfordshire - which has lost some 190 front line police officers. Keir Starmer said, "A Labour Government will put bobbies back on the beat."
A High Court judge has quashed the decision of Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning group (CCG) to close the children's respite centre at Nascot Lawn, Watford. The CCG failed to consult properly with the County Council.
Labour councillors and local party activists who had campaigned with the parents were delighted with the result. Chris Ostrowski, Labour's Parliamentary candidate said, "I am so pleased for the parents. Their determination and campaigning has been rewarded. I call upon the CCG and the Government to abandon this closure. The root cause is the £45 million of Tory government cuts to west Hertfordshire's NHS. I would expect the local MP and Mayor to be campaigning for more funding for our local NHS."
Correspondence between the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport shows unequivocally that it was the Government that ended negotiations on funding for the Metropolitan Line Extension and declared the project dead. Now the Tories and Liberal Democrats at County Hall are collaborating putting a joint motion to the Council wrongly accusing London's mayor for the 'scrapping' of the project. Read full story
Metropolitan Line - Jagtar calls on Government to fund any overspend
Jagtar Singh Dhindsa, Labour's mayoral candidate said, “This is disappointing news (that the extension project has faltered). The problem is that the Conservative Government wants London taxpayers to carry the risk of an overspend – which is very common on big infrastructure projects like this. Jagtar has written to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State See his letter. Read more
Chris Ostrowski selected again to win Watford for Labour at General Election
It was standing room only on Tuesday 16th January as over 300 local Labour Party members voted following a hustings of four parliamentary hopefuls for the now highly winnable Watford constituency. Members selected Chris Ostrowski, who almost won the seat for Labour in June 2017 slashing the Tory majority to just 2,092
Chris said,“I am humbled by the huge support I have received in this contest. We are now united and the Watford Labour Party is campaigning on full throttle as there could be a General Election any time. This weak and incompetent Tory Government is letting the people of Watford down. It's time for a change"
Rail Fare protests across local stations
Watford Labour members were out leafleting commuters at local stations on 2nd January to protest at a 32% hike in rail fares since the Tories came to power in 2010. The protest at Watford Junction was held jointly with the RMT union. Labour's mayoral candidate Jagtar Singh Dhindsa said, “Passengers in Watford have been hit again and again by eye-watering rail fare rises. They have now rocketed by 32 per cent since the Tories came to power, that is two times the rate wages have gone up. For many people here, travelling by train isn’t a luxury; it’s how they get to work every day.
A season ticket to London now costs a staggering £4,656, up £716 since the Tories got into power. Labour’s policy is to bring the railways into public ownership so they can be run for passengers not profit. That means fairer fares, investment in a 21st century railway and listening to passengers.”
Watford Labour Party members have selected their candidate to fight the Watford mayoral election in May 2018. Vicarage ward councillor and chair of Watford Borough Council, Jagtar Singh-Dhindsa will contest the election.
Councillor Singh-Dhindsa said: “I am delighted that Watford Labour Party members have chosen me to represent them in the mayoral election next year. I will be a unity candidate to represent not just Labour in Watford, but all residents, to make our town a better place to live for everyone – for the many, not the few.
Mike Jackson, chair of Watford Labour Party, said: “We are delighted to have a candidate of Jagtar’s character and experience standing as our mayoral candidate. He will truly be a mayor to represent all of Watford. Our town faces many challenging issues and we’re confident that Labour values will bring a better deal to our residents and community.” Read more
Mayoral race - Tories select failed career politician - 4 time loser!
Watford Conservatives are so short of local talent that have resorted to selecting a failed career politician with no connections with Watford as their mayoral candidate. George (Jaber) Jabbour has stood in recent years in Doncaster, Belfast, Bridgend and Inverclyde, in some cases producing a reduced vote for the Tory party. Now he has been parachuted into Watford and can expect the same result.
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The Conservative MP has hung onto Watford by his fingernails as Labour' slashed his majority from 10 to 2 thousand as the counting finished at 3am on Friday the 9th June. A massive 16% increase in the Labour vote, the best result in Herts, was not quite enough to win the seat for Chris Ostrowski. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats lost half their votes collapsing to their worst local result in decades. See full report and results here.
Watford Labour Party has slammed The Council's decision to support a pilot scheme to require voters to present identification to get a ballot paper in polling stations for the Mayoral and Local Council elections in May 2018. Labour's Election Agent Mike Jackson said, "This is a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. There is no evidence or suggestion of election fraud in Watford. The bigger risk is that many voters will be disenfranchised." Read Labour's full statement