SPECULATION ON ANN KEEN DESELECTION CHALLENGE
MP gets vote of confidence from man tipped
to succeed her as Labour promises to do more
in Chiswick where it is described as being
"as popular as foot and mouth."
Keen at Chiswick Community School
report in this week's Hounslow Chronicle by
Bernard Ginns highlights an increasing rift
in the local Labour party. A magazine called
View-points produced by party members voices
severe criticism of local MP Ann Keen and suggests
she may struggle to be re-selected as constituency
MP next year. Disgruntled party members reportedly
accuse her of intolerance and being destructive.
Brentford and Isleworth seat was held easily
at the last general election but in the recent
Council elections the Labour party did disastrously
badly in Chiswick which represents over a third
of the constituency and also performed poorly
in previous strongholds of Brentford and Isleworth.
Former Labour Councillor Tristan Bunnell who
was defeated when standing for a Chiswick ward
was quoted as saying, "We were about as
popular as foot and mouth. The Labour party
has lost all credibility in this end of the
article in View-points, penned under the name
Lambton Watch, claimed that Ann Keen would
have a difficult time being reselected next
year saying, "This is because she has
alienated many of her previous previous supporters
whose crimes have been to support Ken Livingstone,
question government policies or suggest ways
she could improve her performance as an MP."
Dissatisfaction with Ann Keen appears partly
related to general misgivings over the level
of control from the centre of the party and
concern about the policy direction of New Labour.
Former Constituency Party Chairman Barry Wilson
also contributed to View-Points with an article
that criticised activity at the local level
and the lack of discussion with Mrs. Keen.
Widely tipped as a possible successor to Ann
Keen is recently elected Brentford councillor
Patrick Edwards. According to the Chronicle
article he gave Ann Keen a vote of confidence
dismissing View-points as a "fringe magazine
written by fringe members with fringe ideas"
He admitted to being ambitious but said it
was presumptuous to talk about future plans.
He went on to acknowledge that the party has
a problem in Chiswick and said that this would
be addressed. Recently council leader John
Chatt answered a list of questions from members
on local matters in an attempt to counter the
view that the interests of this part of the
borough were disregarded. A further list of
questions is due to be published soon.
Ann Keen has recently been praised by the West
Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society for her support
in their campaign against the Chiswick West