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Yardley Net Campaign Hots Up

One of the issues in Yardley for the General Election is that the Labour Candidate is not really interested in Yardley, but wanted to be the Labour Candidate for Wakefield Central.

As part of her campaign to be selected in Wakefield (June 2004) Karen Marshall from Yorkshire said "there are four candidates left on the shortlist and I feel that Jayne Innes is the best one for the job. She has local roots in the constituency [Wakefield Central]..." "I think it's important to have someone who has a head start and who knows the local area [Wakefield] already." Ms Innes Campaigning in Wakefield

When we put a reference to the original Labour noticed it and changed it from the "lass with the local [Wakefield] roots to": This link

They may change this again so I will extract the text:
"Birmingham Lib Dem leader John Hemming's commitment to being the MP for Birmingham Yardley is so half hearted that even if elected he plans to treat it as a part time job and continue as a councillor! "

This is all linked to the fact that I am not going to resign as a councillor if I am elected as MP for Birmingham (Yardley). Lynne Jones MP and Steve McCabe MP both were elected as Labour MPs for Birmingham whilst local councillors. Neither resigned as councillors.

My criticism of Labour MPs in Birmingham is that generally they don't represent Birmingham in Westminster, but moreso represent Labour in Birmingham. My view is that we need to have MPs that fight for us rather than people that wander off to promote their own careers.

It is important to keep links between the City and the MPs so I personally believe it would be wrong to resign as a councillor. However, at least we have a clear issue of difference between our campaign and that of the Labour Party.

We take the view that we need to argue the case for Birmingham nationally. Labour feel that local links should be cut.


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Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker

Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

Millionaires and politics

The Labour Party spent most of the last election criticising me for being a successful businessman (aka millionaire). That is business in the private sector employing over 250 people. It is worth looking at the situation for the Labour Candidate now:

For the year 2016-7 Annual Income from Parliament74,962Specifically for her book51,250Other media income etc5,322.82Total declared income131,534.82

Traditionally anyone with an annual income of over £100,000 has been considered to be a millionaire. I did not use my position in parliament to increase my income.

I have been asked for sources for this. This BBC piece looks at how one should define rich. It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date. There are perhaps 2 relevant pieces:
"In 1880 a rich person would have had £100,000 in assets or an income of £10,000 a year, he says. About a hundred people a year died leaving £100,000 and by 1910 this was 250 - "a microscopic fraction of the number of death…