Don’t forget about Kent

First published on ProgressOnline

Last night I was with the Labour club at Kent University, a great group of people keen to win back their local council for Labour and fighting to keep us on the southern political landscape. What struck me on my fifth visit to Kent since we lost the general election, is how few others have made the same journey.

Those seats Labour lost in the Midlands and the M4 corridor have scores of Labour MPs travelling through them as they return to our heartlands. If Swindon, Burton or Sherwood are holding a CLP meeting, fundraiser or campaign day, numerous shadow cabinet members let alone backbench colleagues will be travelling through or very near twice a week as they visit their constituencies in Scotland, Wales and northern England. The challenge we face in many of the seats that we must win back at the next election, places like Crawley, Brighton, Hove, and all those in Kent (from Medway to Dover), Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, is compounded by the fact that they have no Labour MP who travels past (or even near) on a regular basis. (more…)