Election 2010 Lookahead: Friday 16 April

The who, when and where of the campaign.

Liberal Democrats

A busy day ahead for Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who will be campaigning in Warrington and Hull today, stopping off at Warrington Rugby League Football Club to meet the team with Lib Dem candidate for Warrington South, Jo Crotty, at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington (10am) and meeting engineers at a training session at HETA Hull on Copenhagen Road in Hull with the Lib Dem candidate for Hull North, Denis Healy (1.45pm).

He will also take part in an online Q&A with students on online forum The Student Room.


A quiet day for the Conservative party folowing yesterday evening's televised election debate. Travel delays caused by the Icelandic ash cloud may affect campaigning.


A quiet day for the Labour party folowing yesterday evening's televised election debate. Travel delays caused by the Icelandic ash cloud may affect campaigning. Labour will air an election broadcast on BBC Two (7.55pm), ITV1 (6.25pm), BBC1, (6.55pm), Five (7.25pm) and Channel 4 (7.55pm).

Other parties

Plaid Cymru will air an election broadcast on Channel Five (7.55pm).

The Media

Expect analysis of yesterday evening's televised election debate on ITV with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Conservative Party leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to enter full swing. R4's Today programme interviews representatives of minor parties including the BNP, UKIP, Green Party, SNP and Plaid Cymru.Some repite from television coverage this evening of the three main parties following yesterday evening's debate.

Away from the campaign

The Broadway theatre in Barking is to host 'Spin The Election', a festival of arts described as 'an artistic response to all the hype and hubris' of the 6 May general election. Barking is the constituency in which BNP leader Nick Griffin is standing against Labour incumbent Margaret Hodge. It will open with 'A Day at the Racists', a new piece of political theatre about the rise of the BNP by Anders Lustgarten.

In Wales today an 84-year old is due to be sentenced for planting a revenge bomb after he was overcharged by his dentist. Peter McShane, 84, of Pembroke Dock, Wales, will be sentenced on eight charges. He planted a fake bomb outside the surgery, glued up the locks and stole a wall plaque following a visit to the dentist in 2007 when he was charged £183.


Follow the New Statesman team on Facebook.

Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
Show Hide image

Commons Confidential: Fearing the Wigan warrior

An electoral clash, select committee elections as speed dating, and Ed Miliband’s political convalescence.

Members of Labour’s disconsolate majority, sitting in tight knots in the tearoom as the MP with the best maths skills calculates who will survive and who will die, based on the latest bad poll, observe that Jeremy Corbyn has never been so loyal to the party leadership. The past 13 months, one told me, have been the Islington rebel’s longest spell without voting against Labour. The MP was contradicted by a colleague who argued that, in voting against Trident renewal, Corbyn had defied party policy. There is Labour chatter that an early general election would be a mercy killing if it put the party out of its misery and removed Corbyn next year. In 2020, it is judged, defeat will be inevitable.

The next London mayoral contest is scheduled for the same date as a 2020 election: 7 May. Sadiq Khan’s people whisper that when they mentioned the clash to ministers, they were assured it won’t happen. They are uncertain whether this indicates that the mayoral contest will be moved, or that there will be an early general election. Intriguing.

An unguarded retort from the peer Jim O’Neill seems to confirm that a dispute over the so-called Northern Powerhouse triggered his walkout from the Treasury last month. O’Neill, a fanboy of George Osborne and a former Goldman Sachs chief economist, gave no reason when he quit Theresa May’s government and resigned the Tory whip in the Lords. He joined the dots publicly when the Resolution Foundation’s director, Torsten Bell, queried the northern project. “Are you related to the PM?” shot back the Mancunian O’Neill. It’s the way he tells ’em.

Talk has quietened in Westminster Labour ranks of a formal challenge to Corbyn since this year’s attempt backfired, but the Tories fear Lisa Nandy, should the leader fall under a solar-powered ecotruck selling recycled organic knitwear.

The Wigan warrior is enjoying favourable reviews for her forensic examination of the troubled inquiry into historic child sex abuse. After Nandy put May on the spot, the Tory three-piece suit Alec Shelbrooke was overheard muttering: “I hope she never runs for leader.” Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, the Thelma and Louise of Tory opposition to Mayhem, were observed nodding in agreement.

Select committee elections are like speed dating. “Who are you?” inquired Labour’s Kevan Jones (Granite Central)of a stranger seeking his vote. She explained that she was Victoria Borwick, the Tory MP for Kensington, but that didn’t help. “This is the first time you’ve spoken to me,” Jones continued, “so the answer’s no.” The aloof Borwick lost, by the way.

Ed Miliband is joining Labour’s relaunched Tribune Group of MPs to continue his political convalescence. Next stop: the shadow cabinet?

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 27 October 2016 issue of the New Statesman, American Rage