Local 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."

Ann Keen at Chiswick Community School this year

A 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.

Her 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 borough."

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 of 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 development.