McDonnell Comes to Leyton

John McDonnell with his Leyton and Wansted CLP supporters

Leyton and Wanstead received a visit from John McDonnell MP (pictured second from right) on Wednesday night, as part of his nationwide tour campaigning for the Leadership of the Labour party.

John was warmly welcomed by Leyton and Wanstead Constituency Labour Party’s Chair Greg Eglin (pictured far left), CLP Treasurer Brian Madican (McDonnell’s biggest fan in the whole wide world! – pictured second from left), Leyton and Wanstead’s fab MP Harry Cohen (pictured centre) and our CLP Secretary Richard Wilkins (pictured far right).

McDonnell sets out his stall

After speeches from Harry and fellow guest MP Katy Clark (pictured sitting to the left of McDonnell), McDonnell’s speech begun.

Now, everyone in my local party pretty much knows where my politics are – Robin Cook rather than Tony Benn – but I am also nosey and open minded so I thought I’d go along and see what John McDonnell had to say.

Leyton and Wanstead turn out to hear John McDonnell

John McDonnell was eloquent and spoke fluently without notes for more than half an hour, touching on issues such as Iraq, the trade union freedom bill, party democracy and Trident.

My constituency tends to veer leftwards in its thinking, so McDonnell went down well with the 120 strong crowd (pictured above) who had turned out on a bitterly cold night to see him.

John McDonnell’s a nice man. He clearly cares deeply about the Labour party and I like the “party of peace” thing he talks about.

Try as I might, however, I just don’t feel excited about the Labour party’s leadership contest.

Unless McDonnell gets onto the ballot paper (his team say he’s doing well) I don’t see much room for debate in that particular contest and I am also curious to hear more from Gordon Brown, whose true side I still don’t think we’ve seen (at least I hope that’s the case…..)

This is why I have, so far, directed my energies at the Deputy Leadership contest and am passionately supporting this man.

Jon Cruddas is doing superbly well in his contest and I think he’s really going to surprise.

As for John McDonnell, whatever happens with his campaign, I welcome him putting himself forward – I am really enjoying all the current debating taking place.

Long may it continue! 🙂

To find out more about John McDonnell’s campaign to become the next Leader of the Labour Party go to:

6 thoughts on “McDonnell Comes to Leyton”

  1. McDonnell is coming to Manchester next Tuesday. I’m looking foward to hearing what he has to say. Especially as he will be talking to a very mixed audience.

  2. John McDonnell will also be in Liverpool on 28th February at the North West launch of the Trade Union Freedom Bill. Contact Institute of Employment Rights for further details (0151 702 6925)

  3. Miranda – thanks for a great report. I think I share your political view – more Cook than Benn or more Compass than LRC, although like you am nosey and open-minded so listen to both.

    I also heard McDonnell speak recently in Lewes, and was genuinely impressed – like you said he was eloquent, articulate and passionate.

    The leadership of the Party matters (how much influence do deputies have?) and perhaps because I don’t share your optimism about Brown (Blair without the charisma/smarm* delete as appropriate) I’m putting my efforts into the McDonnell campaign.

    I will vote for Cruddas for deputy too.

  4. Thanks, Will. It’s all to play for. I wouldn’t say I’m optimistic about Brown, more cautiously curious and waiting to see what he’ll do. I have always regretted the fact that he appears anti-European (EU) (I am solidly pro) and this is a significant barrier for me in wholeheartedly endorsing him as the next Prime Minister (as opposed to just leader of the party). As I said, “Robin Cook” as opposed to “Tony Benn”….John McDonnell also being anti-European (EU) is a problem for me. My attitude to the leadership contest is a weary shrug of the shoulders at the moment. I would like that to change. We’ll just have to see what happens as the months go by….

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