I may not have won a County Council seat that I have never held, but Laura Pidcock has just lost a County Council seat to the Conservatives. Since she was at the Durham count throughout the afternoon, an extremely productive afternoon from the point of view of my General Election campaign (everyone was there, all right), she presumably thought that her own seat was so safe that the Northumberland count was not worth attending. Ho, hum. She lost that seat. To a Tory.
Her Nomination Papers are unlikely to be signed by anyone other than allowance-laden Labour Councillors (such as there still are in Durham, where three Cabinet members were among those who lost their seats today) and persons who, like her, are and have only ever been employed by the Labour Party and its associated bodies. That must pay well, since she apparently has residences both in Northumberland and, bought since the General Election was called, in County Durham.
Unless she wants the Liberal Democrats to win North West Durham, then she will stand down in my favour. I am calling on her to do so. She has no ties to this area. Her selection as a candidate here had no local involvement whatever; indeed, she spent much of today being introduced to local Labour stalwarts who had never met her. I have been an anti-austerity and anti-war activist since well before she could vote. Her anti-racism extends only to trying to prevent a mixed-race candidate from being elected, in the grand old tradition of Hilary Armstrong and Neil Fleming.
It amuses me no end that she has probably never heard of Neil Fleming, and that she has almost certainly never had the displeasure of a conversation with him. Last night, I briefly caught sight of the forlorn figure of Brynnen Ririe, fated never quite to become Mrs Fleming. Another all-women shortlist here, but still no one seems to have thought to add her name to it. So far as one can tell, the only name on it was that of the far younger and locally unknown Far Leftist, and now the defeated former Northumberland County Councillor, Laura Pidcock.
Whether to the council seat that she could not retain, or to the parliamentary seat that she expects to inherit, Ms Pidcock's sense of her own entitlement recalls Hilary Armstrong and Hillary Clinton. Her candidacy would be an insult to the voters here, and a gift to the Lib Dems, or even to the Conservatives, who have of course beaten her once already. She needs to put aside the arrogance of her extreme youth, and confront reality. She would be welcome on my staff, which would be more appropriate for a person of her age, and which I intend to fill from across the political spectrum. But she has just lost her council seat to a Tory. She is the unelectable Left. She needs to stand aside.