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SIX candidates have been nominated for the election in Derby North and the outcome is going to be close.
Chris Williamson, who was re-elected in this constituency in 2017, on a pro-Corbyn socialist platform, is standing once again on a pro-Corbyn socialist platform. But this time he will be standing as an independent candidate, after Labour’s NEC refused to endorse him as the official Labour candidate earlier this month.
But we all think he still has the best chance of defeating the Tories in the marginal seat that is Derby North, and therefore his victory would help to remove this catastrophic Tory administration.
On his return to Parliament, after losing his seat in 2015, Chris travelled the length and breadth of the country enthusing members about what could be achieved by a Corbyn-led socialist Labour government.
He reminded members of the enormous forces that would be ranged against a progressive socialist administration, and stressed that the success of the Corbyn project would depend on the mass movement the party had become. That is why he strongly advocated democratising the Labour Party and making Labour MPs accountable to grassroots members.
The success of his campaign to empower the membership, and his advocacy of the grassroots as a crucial buttress for socialism, made him a target. In fact, since his return to Parliament he has been the victim of one the most vigorous, vindictive and vituperative smear campaigns anyone in public life has ever had to endure.
But Chris has been a well-known campaigner in Derby for 40 years, fighting for local people, and he led the successful struggle to save Derby’s train making industry when the coalition government were in office. Consequently, the efforts to undermine him, because of his advocacy of socialism and democracy, has singularly failed to dent his reputation in his home city of Derby.
We, therefore, call on Labour’s NEC to urge Labour members and supporters to throw their weight behind Chris Williamson and prevent a Tory win in Derby North, which could hand power to Johnson and provide five more years of Tory austerity.
Councillor Tony Norbury
Councillor Yvonne Nolan
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