Friday, July 19, 2024

Miliband spin doctor favourite for Thurrock seat

IT WAS A busy weekend in the borough for Ed Miliband’s former special advisor, Polly Billington as she helped local Labour campaigns in Corringham on Saturday and Tilbury on Sunday.

On Saturday, Ms Billington manned the Labour stall in Corringham town centre as they looked for signatures to petition against the closure of Corringham police station.

On Sunday, the woman behind the successful campaign to get Ed Miliband elected as Labour leader toured Tilbury.

Former journalist, Polly is also in town today meeting a number of local Labour councillors in the area.

With the election of a prospective parliamentary candidate for Thurrock due later this month, many consider Polly Billington to be the favourite.

It is an all-womens short list.

It appears that long time favourite, cllr Val Morris-Cook may not be standing. Val was Polly’s chaperone and chauffeur at the weekend. That may well mean that there will be no local candidate.

Other names thrown into the ring are Sarah MacKinlay, daughter of former Thurrock MP between 1992 and 2010, Andrew MacKinlay as well as Sally Bercow and Dawn Butler.


  1. Obviously very good at her job, Ed has a great media image and the public think very highly of him, I’m sure she’ll be equally as good of elected MP for Thurrock

  2. If this were to be the case, this would be a little disappointing. Although what is most important is that ‘the best person gets the job’ Parliament more than ever needs elected individuals who have life and work experience outside Politics. Although unlikely to vote Conservative, I feel that Jackie Doyle Price has proved to be a highly able and fair minded representative. Before Politics, she had financial services experience. For Labour, I feel Val Morris-Cook would have been an excellent choice, as she is similarly able and able to see both sides of the picture. Val is local, while Jackie is originally from Sheffield, a factor that has no implication on her ability to do the job. So it doesn’t bother me that Polly Billington presumably isn’t from Thurrock, it’s the fact that Parliament needs so much more than Ed Miliband’s media director/campaign manager to represent an area with so many diverse communities such as Thurrock. Someone with real life experience, not simply within the Westminster bubble, who can empathise with what it is like to be a working person at any level in the real world. Instead, the party machine takes over and political operators are imposed who will only trot out a party line at all costs. Hoping the above article’s hints don’t become reality and that Val Morris Cook will apply to ensure that whoever wins at the next election, Jackie or otherwise, that Thurrock has a Member of Parliament who will really add some value.

  3. Some good quotes on the web regarding Ms Billington:

    “Writing on Labour Uncut in June 2011, Dan Hodges claimed the Billington had been responsible for damaging briefing against David Miliband and his supporters during the leadership campaign”

    “Writing in the Telegraph in December 2010, Peter Oborne aimed criticism at Billington’s performance: ‘There is an air of chronic disorganisation to the Miliband operation. Shortly after he was elected leader, I rang his office on a weekday morning. The phone rang for minutes without being answered. So I wrote a note instead. More than a month later, there has been no reply. His political advice is weak. Miliband prepares for Prime Minister’s Questions with three advisers who are surprisingly junior: MPs Chuka Umunna and Ann McGuire, and ex-journalist Polly Billington. Not even Ed Miliband’s closest supporters can claim these three are up to the task after a series of mistakes in PMQs”

    Sounds like she is just right for the job 😉

  4. Has anyone actually heard any of the main parties say anything that supports what the public actually want. The last thing I heard Cameron say was about getting rid of carrier bags. In the middle of the worst recession in living memory the most worrying thing on his mind is carrier bags. I can’t even remember anything worthwhile coming out of millipedes mouth or nose as the case may be. The most memorable thing about the Labour party was the little boy at their party conference extolling the virtues of the welfare state only to be found out to be a spoilt little rich kid who went to a private school and whose father was a property developer. That sums up the Labour party. The party of state reliance. Let us not forget the harpy Harperson banging on about the Tories banning people from voting when what was actually said was they were proposing to leave it a personal choice for a person to vote or not. If people can’t be bothered to vote that’s their choice but Labour doing what Labour do best like to control people. Yet more lies from the Labour party. Then we have the Lib Dems bleating on about the European human rights act. The reason they won’t hold a referendum on this is because they already know what the outcome would be. None of them are worth voting for because they won’t represent the views of the people at all.

  5. Upthereds – The main Party’s are ALWAYS saying what they think people want to hear! You will find that there are very many ‘green’ thinking people that think getting rid of carrier bags is a capital idea. The same folk will be extolling the virtues of ‘green’ energy whilst freezing their backsides off in the winter when the turbines fail to spin. Getting the parties to say what people want to hear isn’t the problem. Getting them to DO anything that the public wants them to do is. As you rightly say, they won’t be holding a referendum anytime soon because they know the way the vote will go i.e not how they would like! your last sentence sums it up nicely.

  6. horndon, you say that “what is most important is that the best person gets the job” and then go on to champion Val Morris-Cook as “an excellent choice for Labour”. I want my Member of Parliament to be decisive not a ditherer who cannot make up her mind as to whether or not to be known as Morris or Cook so plumps for a “coalitition” of Morris-Cook.


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