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Bruce George MP

Walsall South MP Bruce George is stepping down at the next election – apparently to spend more time with his family. Maybe so – but The Stirrer understands the timing of the decision may have more to do with the parliamentary aspirations of Walsall councillor Mohammed Nasir.

George apparently signalled his intention to party bosses to quit a couple of years ago, but was encouraged to keep his intentions secret – not least because the local constituency party is regarded as less than pliant.

The last thing the National Executive wanted was a bloody fight for succession – especially among a membership with a large Pakistani Muslim contingent who might prove resistant to female candidates.

Party Chair Harriet Harman – having briefly suspended the onward march of equality to ensure that husband Jack Dromey could stand for the nomination in Erdington – is now in a position to insist on an all-women shortlist.

This would be bad news for Palfrey councillor Nasir, who was number 6 on Labour’s European list for the most recent elections, but who antagonised George by failing to publicly curb his ambitious streak.

By quitting now, the MP leaves his rival with little room for manoeuvre – and underlines that once again, “the people” can’t be trusted to control the People’s Party.



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