Labour MP for Erith & Thamesmead

Teresa Pearce MP

Archive for May, 2009

article for LabourList Comments Off on article for LabourList

Posted on May 26, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

Since winning the selection for Erith & Thamesmead I am usually asked three questions


1)     How did you win?

2)     Why did the London Region take control of the process , and

3)     What happened to the ballot box?


I’d like to answer as best I can in time honoured reverse order.


Third question first. I don’t know and as yet no one except the person responsible knows what happened with the ballot box. Sadly this hasn’t stopped theories being floated and accusations being made. When the vandalism took place the box was at the office of the London Regional Party and the NEC is conducting a rigorous investigation which includes the interviewing of the staff present on that day. Those members of staff have employment rights which protect them from unfounded accusations of misconduct. Therefore, frustrating though it is, we must be patient and let the enquiry run its full course to give the staff their full rights during what must be a very stressful time for them.


Second question. We don’t know why the procedures secretary was removed but given the subsequent events, at least, it meant that the CLP officers had no part at all in the ballot box incident.


First question. During the 5 months of the selection much was written in the press “tipping” candidates to win and stating who was and was not the front runner. All those stories we ignored as they were written by people who had little understanding of the process or the rules and who had an agenda different to ours.

We ran our campaign from the very start as we would any other election, by fully understanding what was needed at each stage, canvassing, doing voter i.d. and then getting the vote out.

We knew where our support was, we knew who was undecided, and we knew who firm supporters of other candidates were. So using our existing knowledge and communicating by personal letters, email, face to face, twitter and facebook we covered a lot of ground with minimal resources.

Most of our CLP members are the people who stuck with Labour through the wilderness years of Tory government who have seen lots of eye catching initiatives come and go from “Labour Listens” to the “ Big Conversation” and can tell the things that matter from the things that don’t. We knew they would not be taken in by spin and gloss.

Knowing our members it was a concern that with eight candidates the amount of door knocking they would have to endure could be counter productive. Some candidates went to see members 4 or 5 times even though they had been firmly but politely told that their vote was already decided.  One weekend a member had a candidate talking to him in the living room whilst two waited in the kitchen. This got too much for some and we even had a member resign so that he could be left alone. Amazingly he still got candidates knocking

There is a heartening lesson in all of this. Even if the national press have written you off, victory is still possible if you stay focused and do what you do best …organise.

So don’t just think that talking about “new” and “change” and “the future” we can win elections.  What wins is hard work, experience, strong organisation and discipline.  Good ideas not new ideas

Paul Waugh of Standard blogging Speaker to go at 2.30 Comments Off on Paul Waugh of Standard blogging Speaker to go at 2.30

Posted on May 19, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

Waugh is often the first to break news and he is blogging that Speaker Martin to announce at 2.30 today to MPs that he will stand down

Thank you 3

Posted on May 17, 2009 by Teresa Pearce


Thank you to everyone who took part in the selection no matter who you were supporting it’s great to see that the dogged determination of the members won through in the end. It was widely expected that members would walk away from the process because of all the negative press but never under estimate Erith  & Thamesmead CLP members, they can always see through the stuff and nonsense to know what really matters.

These past months have been difficult but the rebuild and clean up starts now.

Fair pay 2

Posted on May 12, 2009 by Teresa Pearce


With the recent coverage of MPs expenses it’s easy for wjwaj1caocvvofcaqsob4ccaz5785wcaa6vx1bcagqcinbcadkwf20caplqcooca2uum4kca3sjcsdcafl4j9vcaqc9tivca3jgaoocarirrttcaalunqbcaowzpqncattp06hcac8yi5ycadb2gs2cagw0dfwto people to say “all politicians are the same” but there are many clear differences between Labour and Tory MPs and the National Minimum Wage is one of them.

On Friday 15 May, MPs will debate  the  second reading of a private members bill that sets out to destroy the National Minimum Wage. Its been  introduced by Tory MP Chrisptopher Chope, one of  Thatcher’s ministers.

It is vitally important that the NMW is defended.

Since its creation 10 years ago it has stopped a number of disgraceful practices by employers. It does however need to be “policed” as employers often find a number of ways around paying it.

For instance it is common in the hospitality industry for an employee to be on a “zero” hours contact and to be paid around £2.50 an hour with the rest made up with tips.

Our Labour government has moved to end that.

It’s also common for employees in low paid jobs in restaurants and also agricultural jobs to be provided with accommodation the cost of which is deducted from the NMW. Sometimes the deduction is much more than the accommodations value especially when its a migrant workforce that are housed in conditions unfit for humans.

The enforcement of the NMW regulations are the responsibility of HMRC and are carried out during PAYE Audits. The government has moved to ensure that employers trying to pay below the NMW rate are caught by setting up “whistle blower” hotlines and making the non payment a criminal offence where previously it had only been liable to a penalty. Therefore on the 28 August 2007, a children’s nursery owner was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £500 costs in the first National Minimum Wage criminal prosecution case.

Only Labour would have introduced the NMW and its up to Labour to defend it. I hope all our MPs will be in parliament on Friday to defeat the Private Members Bill.

There is a rally/lobby in parliament this Friday.

Friday 15th May, 11am-1.30pm
Jubilee Room
House of Commons
If you can’t make it, please go to to help in other ways.

Questions that need answers 2

Posted on May 06, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

credit-crunchThere is a meeting in my ward Erith tonight which I am not able to attend as it is seems to be invitation only. I would have liked to go as there will be a speaker from ( or ex of I’m not sure) the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The FSA has to regulate the finance sector and has  four statutory obligations which are :

  • market confidence;
  • public awareness;
  • consumer protection; and
  • the reduction of financial crime:

If any of you reading this are lucky enough to have been invited I would be really interested to know the speaker’s view on what failures of regulation by the FSA have led to the loss of jobs and homes that we are now seeing.

I firmly believe that one of the big factors that have caused the economic problems we now have is this:-

 We have created a society of people buying things they don’t need with money they don’t have.

I believe that the FSA has failed in its duty to regulate and I would be asking why?

The FSA has some big questions to answer, for instance an internal audit into the regulation of Northern Rock ( that’s where all this began! ) identified  serious failings which I believe pointed directly at the FSA for example the following points were made by the auditors ;

  • A lack of adequate oversight and review by FSA line management of the quality, intensity and rigor of the group’s supervision.
  • A lack of intensity by the FSA in ensuring that all available risk information was properly utilised to inform its supervisory actions.

It’s important that lessons are learned and I hope the discussion tonight is a good one.

I have written widely on this issue so if any readers want more info I am happy to send it.


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