Today on Lucy Salek’s Lewisham campaign…and why you should go to help her soon

I have a friend who’s heading down to Lewisham for a few days today to help Lucy Salek. She’s travelling 400 miles to work in a by-election in London. Why?

Well, the sooner you get there, the bigger the impact. We’ve had a fair few people out this weekend – 3 figures – which isn’t bad. We need more, though, to show that we are aiming high and taking the fight to the pro-Brexit Tory and Labour parties.

It’s those early days of a by-election where we can lay down a statement of intent. If people get lots of stuff from us early on and we create a bit of a buzz, we have more chance of a really good result. In Dunfermline in 2006, we were able to establish our credentials in the first couple of weeks and went from strength to strength after that.The more we can be seen all over the constituency and the more leaflets people get from us and, most importantly, if they find us on their doorsteps, the bigger the chance of a successful result. So if you possibly can, do get down early and often.

There’s also a purely selfish reason why you should go now – to see what happens in the early days of a big campaign. See if they are trying out any new quirky things, get some samples of early literature to crib from in your campaign.

Oh, and you will have massive amounts of fun too. I’m probably not going to get there in person but I have donated and I will be making calls.

Lucy has been campaigning tirelessly since she was selected. Today she was talking to people at a farmers’ market.

She said:

The reception for us on the doorstep has been fantastic. Speaking to voters I have found they are fed up with, and frustrated by, Labour, particularly over Brexit.

Having grown up in and around the constituency I understand the other major issues here, notably knife crime and a lack of resources for our schools. As Lewisham East’s MP, tackling these problems would be among my top priorities.

Vince seems to have moved in. He was there on Wednesday and was back for the opening of the Campaign HQ this afternoon.

His message was clear. Labour must stop waving through the Tories’ chaotic Brexit.

The fault lines between Labour’s leadership and its members are more stark than ever before. Their youth and student wings, understandably concerned for their generation’s future, are now challenging Jeremy Corbyn on his failure to back the British people on having the final say on any deal.

Labour’s leadership is facilitating the Conservatives’ chaotic Brexit, even nonsensically backing them over leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union.

Every vote for the Liberal Democrats in this by-election is a message to the Conservatives that Brexit is not inevitable. Every vote for the Lib Dems in Lewisham East is a warning to Labour’s leadership that they must act like the opposition and not simply wave through Brexit.

We have a brilliant candidate, and a central HQ with an unforgettable name – 19 Leegate in Lee – so what’s stopping you? All the information you could ever want is here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • I’ll be there tomorrow. Back to the place I grew up and joined the Young Liberals 49 years ago!

  • Maurice Leeke 21st May '18 - 8:48am

    Travelling down from Norfolk for my third visit on Wednesday.

  • Richard Whelan 21st May '18 - 9:35am

    I am coming between Friday and Sunday. See you then. Richard.

  • An update on the odds at Ladbrokes. The “absolutely no chance” Conservatives 100-1. The “1.7%” Greens 100-1. Lib Dems second favourites at 20-1. Clearly we have a POSSIBILITY and it is only a possibility at this stage of uniting the Remain vote and sending a message to Labour and Conservatives. Perhaps particularly Labour. IF (and it is only an IF) we reduce the Labour majority – for every vote it goes down, the panic among Labour MPs and the pressure on Corbyn for Remain rises.

    But – this is very good territory for Labour – they are miles ahead at the bookies at 1-50 on and they have all the councillors in the borough and the seat.

    Get your remainer friends to come with you to help or phone from home!!!

  • Robert (Somerset) 21st May '18 - 5:16pm

    What’s the address to send a donation cheque and who payable to?

  • Yes I will go there it’s only next door to me and want to make a donation too.

  • The chair of Lewisham East Labour Party, Ian McKenzie thinks that Labour voters there may be ready to jump ship over Brexit.

    He has tweeted:
    [Labour] “Party’s position(s) on Brexit killing us here. Came up a lot during the locals. We said it was a council election, Brexit wasn’t on the ballot paper…”

    And from the Guardian – “Ian McKenzie, the Lewisham constituency party chair and long-serving party loyalist, tweeted: “Our canvassers have to persuade former Labour voters that cite Labour’s failure to stop hard Brexit as the reason they are voting Lib now. It’s hard work.” “

    You can donate with a debit/credit card at

    Nominations have closed – there are 14 candidates including 1 independent

  • Paul Murray 21st May '18 - 7:57pm

    Hmmm… I seldom comment here any more but I note that mention has been made of Ian McKenzie, chair of Lewisham East Labour Party.

    Mr. McKenzie tweeted on 17th January 2016 : “Emily Thornberry is too old for ISIS. They won’t make a sex slave of her. They’ll behead her and dump her in a mass grave”.

    I am only aware of Mr. McKenzie’s tweet as a result of the excellent efforts of a person on twitter who I know through his work as a Wagner scholar to highlight what he correctly characterises as “fantasies of misogynist murder”.

    I am pleased to see that this has just been picked up by the media:

    One must hope that the Labour Party remove Mr. McKenzie from his position immediately.

  • Evening standard has a report that the 100,000 strong Labour youth wing are challenging Corbyn to allow a conference vote on a second Brexit referendum.
    In a letter to Mr Corbyn, penned jointly by the chair of Labour Youth and chair of Labour Students, the Labour leader was told that members deserve “to have our voices heard by our own party”, saying that three-quarters of members believe in having a vote on the Government’s Brexit deal.

    “On Saturday, Mr Corbyn’s preferred candidate in the Lewisham East by-election, Left-winger Claudia Webbe, was beaten by local councillor Janet Daby, deputy mayor of Lewisham. Ms Daby vowed to fight against a hard Brexit and remain in the single market, putting her at odds with Mr Corbyn.

    The selection process had descended into chaos earlier on Saturday morning when it emerged that Labour officials were considering banning Momentum-backed candidate Sakina Sheikh from standing. “

  • The awful Anne Marie Waters was too right-wing and racist for UKIP so she left. She is standing for “The For Britain Movement” in the by-election. I want Lucy to get a very good vote. But it would be brilliant if Waters got a derisory vote.

  • Andrew McCaig 22nd May '18 - 7:48am

    Labour have suspended McKenzie.
    Apparently the context of his tweets was Emily Thornberry saying we might have to negotiate with IS. Totally unacceptable response but why has he stayed so long??

    Meanwhile their candidate seems quite sensible

  • Nonconformistradical 22nd May '18 - 9:18am
  • Andrew McCaig 22nd May '18 - 2:03pm
  • Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Ian McKenzie saga – there does seem to something of a full on internal battle going on between the Prospect/Blairite wing and the Corbyn/Momentum wing centred on Lewisham East.

    McKenzie tweets: “Keeping Owen Jones, Paul Mason and the Shadow Cabinet away from the constituency would be very helpful. We’d like to win this!”
    (Does that BTW including Corbyin – a member of the shadow cabinet?)

    and “Lewisham East Labour Members were sick of two outside organisations, Momentum and Unite, trying to rig our selection. We humiliated them and I’m allowed a few hours to crow about it over a cup of tea”

    Owen Jones retaliates by unearthing and publicising McKenzie’s tweets from 2 years ago.

    In a 44% BAME constituency after Windrush Labour should be increasing their majority but it now looks as if there is a possibility of us eating into the majority.

  • Andrew McCaig 25th May '18 - 9:23pm

    The Labour candidate in Lewisham East is already rowing back on her promises on staying in The Single market when bidding for the nomination..

    See here:

    Here is what she says – no mention even of the Customs Union! Lobby fodder just as Corbyn wants!

    “But the Tories are pressing on with their damaging and extreme Brexit plans and ignoring all advice to put people and jobs first.

    I will fight to ensure Lewisham East is a welcoming place for all our residents and will stand up for the rights of EU citizens and others who have made this country their home.

    I want make sure we can continue to work with the EU on issues like climate change, security and scientific research.

    I will play my part in ensuring a continued close relationship with Europe because I believe that is in the best interests of the people of Lewisham East.”

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