Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Ian Austin RESIGNS From Labour

As the so-called Independent Group attracts more ridicule than serious analysis, mainly due to the slipperiness of Chuka Umunna and the likes of Angela Smith having her “funny tinge” moment live on TV, the question is asked: who is going to resign next?
Ian Austin MP. But no longer Labour

Well, the Tories answered that one this morning as three of their MPs departed the party and crossed the floor. Labour supplied an eighth MP as Joan Ryan, already subjected to a vote of no confidence by her CLP, joined them. Would there be any more?

And Zelo Street can reveal that, yes there will. Well, one more, anyway. And the name in the frame, to no surprise at all, is Dudley North MP Ian Austin. Yes, you read it here first: Ian Austin has resigned from the Labour Party.

So why has no mainstream media outlet picked up on the news? Simples. Austin has done the deed, but appears to be waiting for tomorrow morning to ride the wave of the breaking news cycle. Well, tough titty, eh? Because the news is out here. Now.
Why is he going? Also, Simples. His majority in 2017 was a wafer-thin 22 votes, and I’m reliably informed that he is now getting jittery about possible deselection, as there has been a surge in local party membership, and he fears that means more Corbyn supporters, many of whom will be potentially hostile to him.

So there you have it. The ninth Labour MP to quit is Ian Austin. The PFJ lives!
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at


Mark said...

And good riddance! Now do the decent thing and step down to allow a by-election. Oh and take Jess Phillips with you.

Unknown said...

Good another one gone. Let's get rid of all the wastes of space while we're at it. If they want to chuck their own political careers down the pan let them get on with it, while we get on with finding new, and more loyal to the true cause, candidates.

Glennk said...

Are you sure he hasn't announced it but nobody noticed

Tinka Gordon said...

It’s right for these people to leave if they cannot endorse the Labour Party manifesto but please will somebody who has clear knowledge explain how it is possible that defection doesn’t immediately trigger a by election? How can our political system be so I archaic and undemocratic ?

Anonymous said...

So, farewell then...er...what was your name again?

Andy Foster said...

He may well go, Tim, but at the moment he hasn't. It's been rather fascinating, watching him squirm. Because he hates Corbyn but also hates 'People's Vote'. So which way will he go? Which way can he go?

Mark said...

@Tinka Gordon because the funny thing about our 'democracy' is we are supposed to vote primarily for the person who represents your constituency on behalf of the party. The one truly great thing about this situation this week is that it has ignited a debate about how that really isn't how voters form an opinion in the main. For example, I dislike my MP and feel that my Labour council is a bunch of shysters only marginally better than the opposition, but I will always vote Labour because I believe a Labour govt is the best thing for the country as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Mark 15:07.

Help me out here.

Where in British constitutional/electoral legislation does it say SPECIFICALLY we "vote primarily" for a person and not the party manifesto which he/she agreed to promote during election?

Paul Lawlor said...

At last the arrogant cur has resigned, Austin is a really unpleasant bully
and if he has any honour left he would grow a pair, stop being so arrogant
and resign his seat and fight a by election.
Let the people of Dudley North decide!

Mark said...

Anon, oh it doesn't, but that's the crap they're pushing and it's never washed with me

rob said...


I believe Jezza made that point clear in a 2010 tweet.

"@Fleeper our electoral system u vote 4 ur MP rather than a party/leader & I hope that on that basis u can cast ur vote feelin comfortable"

But he could have changed his mind of course since then? Whether it holds good inpractice it is still the theory on which our democracy was originally based. If you want to change it fine - just have boxes for Labour Conservative Liberal Whatever on the ballot paper and fill in the places with MPs you want later.

At least the present system means we can still vote for the best person we think will represent us regardless of Party affiliation. Whether most do that or not now is another matter for future electoral debate.

Winston Churchill was a prime example in that he "crossed the floor twice" but didn't feel the need for a (good)by(e) election.
I think you will find that whether a by election is necessary or not comes down to political calcualtion rather than procedure.

Anonymous said...

rob 13:48.

That's a non sequitur.

It isn't a matter of procedure. It's a matter of integrity and honour in a party system, specifically on mass murder wars and the gangster capitalism of PFI. For the latter, check the voting record of the TIGistas then get back to me.

In your own time.

rob said...

@ Anon

That's your interpretation. You had better educate Jezza then.

And go back to your history lessons on non sequiturs existing in Party Systems involving integrity and honour.

Don"t make me laugh! How many times did Jezza vote against his own Party in and out of power?

Anonymous said...

rob 18:10.

The difference is - now read and understand this carefully - Corbyn didn't leave the party and also attack the leadership. He stayed. He argued his case over many years. His votes against were always on issues of social inequality and against mass murdering warmongering and profiteering - New Labour of course helped the tories promote all of those corruptions, which is why its remaining followers find themselves stranded in the same political quicksand.

Now he's leader, voted in twice by large party membership majorities.

That doesn't need too much interpretation. Especially when it's stuck sideways in your craw.