La Treizième Étoile: 28/04/13 - 05/05/13 Blog Archives
News from the European Union with a focus on the South West UK and Gibraltar region and its MEPs
My tweets (@SWUKinEU)
A former SW MEP makes surprise return on Labour list of candidates for 2014 election

Wednesday, 1 May 2013
The Labour Party has revealed its list of candidates to contest the 2014 European elections in the South West and the surprise inclusion amongst the six is that of Glyn Ford, who has already been an MEP for 25 years (served the South West from 1999-2009) but who was unseated at the last election in 2009.

Born in Gloucester, Glyn Ford (left) was first elected to the European Parliament in 1984 when he represented the constituency of Greater Manchester East for 15 years. In 1999, he won re-election standing in the South West. Ford was leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party from 1989-1993 and was the deputy leader of the Socialist Group in the Parliament. During a previous campaign he said he would campaign for Gibraltar to have its own seat in the European Parliament, rather than only having representation through the South West England constituency. In the 2009 elections, Labour were pushed back into fifth place and failed to return a single seat. He is currently a consultant at G Plus Europe lobbying firm, and a board member of the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS).

The other candidates are Clare Moody (former candidate for the Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner, UNITE official, former assistant Political Secretary for Gordon Brown), Ann Reeder (director of Frontline Consulting Associates, member of the Local Government Information Unit and South West Councils), Cllr Jude Robinson (Labour & Coop Cornwall Councillor for Camborne North), Cllr Junab Ali (Borough Councillor for Swindon Central), Glyn Ford (Former MEP) and Hadleigh Roberts (interpreter and project manager in a translation company, Vice Chair of Bath Labour Party).

There will now be a ‘one member, one vote’ OMOV ballot of Labour party members in each region to rank the candidates. Current sitting MEPs who are standing again will top each regional list, but since Labour has no seat in the South West constituency currently, all six candidates will face this ballot to determine the order.

According to LabourList, there will be separate voting, in order of preference, for women and men with them then appearing alternately in the list. A female candidate is expected to be named head of the list in the region.

Click here to see list of list of declared MEP candidates in the region.


SW MEP objects on matter of principle to MEPs as candidates for EU Ombudsman

Monday, 29 April 2013
The race is on to find the next European Ombudsman to replace the Greek-born Nikiforos Diamandouros when he steps down later this year as. Based in Strasbourg, Mr Diamandouros will be retiring on 1 October, 10 months before the end of his term of office marking 10 years in the role. The news that two MEPs have put themselves forward has angered South West Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson who objects to MEPs being candidates for the post as matter of principle.

Sir Graham, a former Chairman of the Parliament’s Citizens' Rights, Justice and Home Affairs Committee and who was among the MEPs who first campaigned for the establishment of the office of Ombudsman, said: "The European Ombudsman is a position of critical importance.

It is the Ombudsman who investigates when things go wrong - when there has been abuse of power, discrimination or when information has been refused. It is inevitable that these situations will at times become politically charged with argument between political parties. The Ombudsman must be believed to be above party,” he said.

"MEPs, as political party animals par excellence, cannot credibly claim to be independent. As a matter of principle, MEPs should not be candidates for the post of Ombudsman."

The European Parliament is responsible for electing the European Ombudsman. At the start of each five-year parliamentary term, the Parliament’s President opens the call for nominations. Each candidate that receives the support of 40 MEPs (from at least two Member States) is then subject to a hearing in Committee. MEPs then conduct a series of secret ballots until a nominated candidate receives majority support. (European Parliament Rules of Procedure: 194)


Last election:

Click here to see which six MEPs were elected.