Busk Meadow, Sheffield, S5
Robert Cumber's Star, February, article "By-election calls rejected after city MP quits Labour" made for very thought provoking reading regarding the action taken by Sheffield's Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith.
Our city now has the dubious/praiseworthy distinction of having for different reasons two current Labour elected politicians leaving the Party they stood for in their pre-election manifesto, Jared O'Mara being the other.
Both MPs have declined to resign from their constituency seat and stand again at a local by-election. In the case of Ms Smith she has stated that "My values are the same and on that basis my voters knew what I stood for, so there's no reason to go back to the electorate." The lady deserves a medal for keeping a straight face when uttering these remarks. I presume that the thought of probably losing her annual £77379 plus expenses salary, of which she is on record as paying her husband up to £40000 as her Senior Parliamentary Assistant did not come into the equation when deciding not to resign her seat? At the 2015 and 2017 general elections she stood on a Labour manifesto and her electorate voted her into office based on what she was perceived to support.
For her to now inform the people who voted for her that she considers the Labour party unelectable for 10-15 years, and that none of the political parties were "fit for power" does a grave disservice to them. By her own admission we brought reluctant supporters unwilling to vote for Jeremy Corbyn "back on board", simply to deprive Theresa May of the massive majority she was looking for. For her now to declare the party unelectable for 10-15 years is akin to putting two fingers up to those who voted for her.
61% of her electorate, in the top 5 UK, voted to Brexit. Instead of following their democratic wish, she has followed her own selfish agenda and placed every obstacle in the Parliamentary path of a speedy withdrawal from the EU. In the case of Brexit you do not represent the people, you represent yourself. The latest news is that eight ex Labour and three ex Tory MPs have resigned to join the new Independent Group alliance. This being the case the people of Penistone and Stocksbridge are without a Labour representative for which they originally voted.
Speaking bluntly, voters should not be fooled by her protestation that they knew what she stood for and no by-election is necessary. They did not know that she would not honour their 61% wish to Brexit, instead doing everything to thwart it.
I can fully understand her "making the decision at the correct time" for standing at the next general election. I respectfully suggest that time may never come Angela. I submit you and Jared have as much chance as a "snowball in Hell" of being re-elected as Independent candidates in Labour controlled Sheffield.
Very few MPs leaving their party to stand as an Independent candidate are successful at re-election time. In my opinion the only local ex MP capable of doing so would be David Blunkett, a charismatic, popular, efficient and knowledgeable politician - you alas do not fit into that category.