Exclusive: Eagle’s ‘extremist’ opponent is now Labour top-dog in Southport
The man who was stopped from being Wallasey’s MP by Angela Eagle has moved to Southport – and into a powerful position in the town’s Labour Party. Southport Labour Party last night elected Lawrence ‘Lol’ Duffy as its vice chair.
Lol Duffy was selected to be Labour Parliamentary candidate in Wallasey before the 1987 General Election but was thought by the national Labour Party to be too closely-connected to the Trotskyite newspaper ‘Socialist Organiser’.. His success in Wallasey came at exactly the same time as Derek Hatton was being expelled from Labour for being in Militant.
Mr Duffy was a sacked shipyard worker who had been jailed for leading an occupation against job losses at Cammell Lairds shipyard in 1984. When he got selected as the Wallasey candidate,, Birkenhead MP Frank Field called publicly for people to not vote Labour in Wallasey. Duffy was defeated in the 1987 general election by the Conservative MP Mrs Lynsa Chaker by a narrow margin of 289 votes.
The National Executive of the Labour Party prevented Mr Duffy from being re-selected to fight in Wallasey at the next election and eventually refused to let him go forward as a candidate. COHSE official Angela Eagle was selected in December 1991 to fight the 1992 General Election. In the selection ballot, 57 votes were cast for Ms Eagle and 163 blank ballot papers were returned. Although it was against Labour Party rules to allow a candidate to go forward with so little support, Ms Eagle was declared selected and went on to win the seat at the general election – a seat she has held ever since..
Now Angela Eagle is possibly herself facing deselection from Wallasey. The Wallasey constituency Labour Party has declared itself to be backing Jeremy Corbyn on the day that Angela Eagle, their MP, has declared that she is out to replace him as national Labour Party leader.. Perhaps the Walasey Labour Party will soon be sending out messengers to Southport to call for Lol Duffy to come back?
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