Jack Parsons

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(Politician)
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BornJack Ernest Parsons

Jack Parsons is the former UKIP member who was elected on 5 May 2016 to represent St Paul's Ward in a Tendring District by-election, caused by the emigration to New Zealand of UKIP Councillor John Mooney.[1] His election agent was UKIP Councillor Richard Everett, who stood as the 'Frinton Resident' candidate in the 2017 Frinton by-election.[2]

Danny Mayzes Conservative came 2nd (311 votes), William Hones Independent 3rd (248 votes) and the Labour Party candidate, Chris Bird, came last with 148 votes.[3]

On 2 February 2017, four members of the Clacton CLP Executive Committee resigned with immediate effect: Chair Sam Atkinson; Danielle Atkinson; Treasurer and acting Secretary Chris Bird; and, vice-Chair Dan Casey. No reason was given for their resignations. The fifth EC member, Jack Parsons' partner vice-Chair Nicole El-Safty, did not resign, however. No reason was given for her non-resignation.[4]

On 2 January 2018, Tendring District Council announced that Cllr Jack Parsons had resigned his seat and that a by-election is to be held in St Pauls Ward in due course.[5]

Defection

Six months after his election, Cllr Parsons defected to Labour claiming UKIP was a "spent force" following the EU Referendum:

"I just feel that UKIP as a national party is a spent force. I think the only reason they have purpose at the moment is the High Court judgment over Brexit and the dithering from the Government.
"I don't see them as a governing party or opposition party. I would much rather support the working class, average Joe voter from a more stable footing. There are a lot of Ukippers who want a hard Brexit while 48 per cent of the country voted to Remain.
"Hard Brexit would be just as unwise. To unite the country we should listen to everyone's point of view and I don't think UKIP have that in mind."
"Since the debacle of Diane James standing down after 18 days in charge and the punch-up at Strasbourg, there have been a couple of things locally as well which I don't want to go into.
"The party presents an image of immaturity and doesn't conduct itself in a professional manner. I've become dejected as a result of that.
"I don't regret standing as a UKIP Councillor. I still believe in the majority of their policies, but most are very, very similar to Labour.
"There are some fundamental differences though. I don't believe in grammar schools and I believe more needs to be done to protect the NHS and GP services. For me the only party standing up for working class people and not punching each other in the face in Strasbourg or standing down after 18 days is Labour.
"One of things that does concern me is the new UKIP leader Paul Nuttall is pro privatisation of the NHS. I think that is a drastic mistake. I think the NHS needs help - not selling down the river."[6]

In the context of Parsons' defection, Daily Mirror columnist Kevin Maguire tweeted: "Who did ex-Tory Paul Nuttall say he was going after?"[7]

Parsons offends the pro-Corbyn CLP

Jack Parsons said he decided to rejoin Labour partly due to his previous membership from 2002 to 2009, and as it is “the only party that has protected the NHS as a key priority.” Although he would not say if he supported Jeremy Corbyn, Parsons said he backed the democratic nature of the Labour Party, being largely controlled by its members – adding that any leader who could win two internal elections with such a majority deserved the “utmost respect” and full support.[8]

On 1 December 2016, Cameron Scott of Labour's Eastern Region and Ivan Henderson, Labour Group leader on Tendring District Council, warmly welcomed Cllr Parsons back:

"Labour have made fighting to protect the NHS a key priority, and that is just one reason why I know the Labour Party is my home. My constituents in St Paul's Ward will continue to be my number one priority. And I believe they will be much better served if I campaign to end this Tory government in the only way possible - by electing a Labour government."[9]

However, throughout December and into January, Jack Parsons and his Blairite partner Nicole El-Safty created a series of arguments on the Clacton CLP (Members Only Group) Facebook page, goading the mainly pro-Corbyn members in an apparent attempt to have the page taken down by Eastern Region. On 24 December 2016, Nicole commented on Jack's behalf:

From Jack Parsons: It sickens me that members of my own party are now turning against me. I will not hold a by-election because I want to deliver on my promises. Calls for a by-election from within makes me realise how Jeremy felt when members of his PLP turned against him. If a by-election is held UKIP will get in, and the CLP will lose its only Councillor. I will continue to communicate via Nic, and the EC or at AMMs in person. Unity requires collaboration from all sides, you elected the EC to represent you, and now it seems all you care about is criticising, undermining and condescending the decisions of the elected body who represent you. This fighting must stop otherwise a future cannot be forged. Volunteers are seldom found, my experience has taught me that strong leadership is a thankless task and tough decisions have to be made. You need to realise that sometimes those decisions don't involve you. My understanding is that the issues aren't around transparency, the EC have been elected to do a Job. Let them do it.[10]

When the Admin of the page turned off his comments on 17 January 2017, Parsons responded:

"Thanks for your input. Just a quick couple of things. What rule have I broken? And would it be possible to PM about disciplinary matters in the future please? I already have people who hate me, I don't want this to be a lynching? Haha!"[11]

Tendring News Channel

On 9 December 2016, Tendring News Channel published a video on YouTube by William Hones, the former Independent candidate in St Paul's Ward, with the following introduction:

"Jack Parsons is a Councillor who was elected as a UKIP Councillor. Then decided to jump from UKIP to the Clacton Labour Party. This is the video encounter of me and him after I bumped in to the lowlife going to work."[12]

SKWAWKBOX Exposé

On 4 January 2017, SKWAWKBOX wrongly reported that the Clacton CLP had been suspended for supporting Jeremy Corbyn.

Following the debacles at Wallasey CLP (Constituency Labour Party) and Brighton & Hove, the SKWAWKBOX has learned that Clacton CLP in Essex has – in effect – been suspended because its Executive Committee (EC) – which consists more or less entirely of right-wingers – feel their positions are threatened by the steadfast support of the majority of its members for Jeremy Corbyn.

Members of Clacton have told this blog that a vote of no-confidence in the EC was likely to be carried at an ‘All Members Meeting’ (AMM) scheduled for tomorrow – and apparently with considerable justification. The CLP EC includes:

  • Dan Casey
  • A Chair (Sam Atkinson) who rubbished the decision of two-thirds of CLP members to support Corbyn for last summer’s leadership election – and said she wished for a snap election to be called and Labour to lose, to get rid of the party’s leader;
  • The Chair’s 17-year-old daughter, Danielle;
  • Chris Bird;
  • Nicole El-Safty

In order to prevent the much-needed clear-out of the unfit EC, which has been extensively discussed among the members, including on the CLP’s Facebook page, Labour East’s regional director, only today – the day before the meeting – sent this:

All,
I wish to make you aware that I am instructing Clacton CLP officers to cancel the CLP all member meeting planned for Thursday 5 January.
Should any meeting go ahead any decisions taken will be considered void.
I would request that the CLP Secretary or other officer emails members to inform them of this asap, and to explain that the instruction has been given by the Labour East Regional Director on the grounds that concerns have been raised with him about the proceedings of the meeting and that no Regional Officer is available to attend.
I have discussed the issue with the Chair of the Labour East Regional Board, Eileen Davidson who is in agreement with this action.
If any member has any queries about this please direct them to email eastern@labour.org.uk whereby a Regional Officer will respond to their query.
I will contact you next week to discuss next steps.
Best wishes,
Cameron Scott
Regional Director
Labour East

While this is not – yet – a formal suspension of the CLP, a key meeting has been summarily cancelled from on high. Not because of anything that has happened, but because of ‘concerns’ about what might be done at the meeting. There are no grounds whatever to assume that there will be any unacceptable behaviour. The only ‘concerns’ will be those of the EC, who are aware that they were likely to be out on their ear via the vote of no-confidence.

Members tell me that they fully expect a formal suspension of the CLP to be imposed soon – as has already happened in Wallasey and Brighton/Hove under similar circumstances. Once is unfortunate. Twice is worrying. Three times is a pattern. It’s clear that we’re seeing a pattern emerge of entrenched, right-wing MPs, Councillors and CLP ECs who will resort to causing the suspension of their local party rather than allow its Corbyn-supporting majority to run it democratically – with the collusion of regional and even national authorities to enable them.

This is, beyond question, bringing the Labour Party into disrepute and the MPs, Councillors or Members responsible should be on administrative suspension pending an investigation to decide whether they should be expelled. The SKWAWKBOX calls on Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) to intervene in all these cases and to do so with an independent investigator so that the similar debacles in Wallasey and Brighton are corrected and not repeated in Clacton.

The country needs a Labour Party focused on moving forward and winning – and that requires decisive action against those clinging to positions of power who are prepared to lose elections to protect those positions.[13]


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