Tag Archives: EU referendum

Greens call on council to back a People’s Vote

7 Nov

Newham Green Party has written to Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, calling on her and the council to publicly back a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, with the option to Remain in the European Union.

Research from Survation/Channel 4 has today shown that in a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, more than 65% of Newham residents would vote to Remain in the European Union, representing an almost 15% shift towards Remain, the largest shift towards Remain of any local authority in the country.

The campaign for a People’s Vote hopes to give the public the chance to vote again on the final Brexit deal, between leaving on the deal the government makes, leaving with no deal, and staying within the EU.

Newham Greens Convenor Frankie-Rose Taylor, who stood for the party in the recent Boleyn by-election, said:

“As one of the poorest and most diverse boroughs in London, Newham is exactly the kind of area that would be hurt most by leaving the European Union. It is no surprise to me that Newham has swung towards Remain by nearly 15%, in the largest shift of any borough in the country. We saw through the lies of Brexit campaigners when we voted to Remain in 2016, but since then their lies have only become clearer and support has only grown.

“I call on Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and her 100% Labour council to express their support for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. Newham deserves to be protected from the hurt that we know Theresa May’s Brexit plan will bring.”

At the same time, the grassroots Remain Labour campaign is calling on its party’s MPs to vote down the Withdrawal Agreement and back a People’s Vote. Research that shows a majority of Labour voters in every single Labour constituency backs staying in the EU. In both Newham seats 77% of Labour voters now back Remain.

Leadership, what leadership?

11 Jul

As reported last week, 11 Newham councillors signed a letter stating they had no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party. One of the criticisms of Corbyn is that he failed to show leadership during the EU referendum campaign and he is therefore to blame for the disastrous result.

Whatever the merits of that argument might be, if those 11 councillors are really concerned about a lack of leadership in the referendum they should take a look closer to home.

Newham had the lowest turnout of any local authority area in England – and the second worst in the UK. Just 59% of voters bothered to register their preference.

Although Remain ‘won’, it was by an exceptionally narrow margin – a majority of 5,957.

Compare that to other inner London boroughs:

Borough Turnout Remain majority
Lambeth 67.4% 81,244
Wandsworth 71.9% 79,042
Hackney 65.1% 60,530
Southwark 66.2% 59,084
Haringey 70.6% 54,136
Islington 70.4% 51,240
Camden 65.5% 47,457
Tower Hamlets 64.6% 57,787

More people voted Remain in Lambeth than voted at all in Newham!

While local activists door-knocked and leafleted the borough, Sir Robin was almost entirely invisible. Search among the ‘doorstep selfies’ posted on social media and you’ll struggle to find one featuring the mayor’s grinning mug. There were no rallies, no public meetings.

Stephen Timms spoke at debates and used his Recorder column to urge residents to vote Remain. Lyn Brown also wrote about why she was voting to stay. Both MPs went door-to-door in the final few days.

But Sir Robin said not a word.

Brexit will hit the poorest hardest, and that means Newham residents will among those that suffer most. 

Will our supine Labour councillors hold Sir Robin to account? Unlikely. But the trigger ballots for deciding if he should be the nominee for the 2018 election are coming up and maybe – just maybe – the membership might.