Archive for November, 2011

Feltham and Heston CLP picks Seema Malhotra

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

At a selection meeting this afternoon, Feltham and Heston CLP chose former Brentford and Isleworth CLP chair Seema Malhotra as their candidate in the by-election that will take place on 15 December.

Seema is co-founder and director of the Fabian Womens Network and a former National Chair of the Fabian Society, as well as a former adviser to Harriet Harman during her stint as leader of the opposition last year. She was Labour GLA candidate for South West London in 2004 and is active in the Co-operative Party and Unite.

Anyone wishing to help with her campaign is being asked to join the Feltham and Heston By-Election Action Team by signing up online.

Why I joined Labour – Neville Simpson

Friday, November 25th, 2011

My earliest political influence was from my father’s mother who lived in a small two-up, two-down terrace in the shadow of Darlington railway sheds.

Gran was always very proud to show us the Christmas card she had from the local Labour MP each year thanking her for the fund raising work she had done for the party.

At work for HSBC I became a BIFU union rep for the Westminster area, visiting all branches to see staff and sit in on disciplinary hearings. After leaving in 1997 I joined the Labour Party as a member - well it was a good year to join. My wife and I had just moved to Brentford and, as I was interested to see what was going on locally, I went to a branch meeting where I was made to feel most welcome. Ruth Cadbury invited us to a branch picnic in Boston Manor park , which was a nice way to meet new people. About four years ago I was cajoled into being Branch Secretary by Theo Dennison, who is still a friend!

Neville Simpson, Branch Secretary for Isleworth and Brentford branch

Neville is wearing a moustache on behalf of Movember.

Council leader pays tribute to Alan Keen

Monday, November 21st, 2011

I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Alan Keen MP. Alan has been a good friend and political ally for the last thirty years, and I will miss him.

Alan served as a councillor for Hounslow Heath Ward in the London Borough of Hounslow from 1986 – 1990, and was elected as the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Feltham and Heston in 1992.

He brought both wisdom and common sense to these roles, and was extremely thrilled and proud to be able to represent the people of Feltham and Heston. A job he did diligently and well. He was a consummate constituency MP who cared greatly about his constituents.

Alan maintained his roots with Teeside, where he grew up, and his north-eastern sense of humour was appreciated by all.

Alan was a lovely, kind man, and I will always remember him with affection. My thoughts and prayers are with Ann, his wife, and his family at the very difficult time.

Cllr Jagdish Sharma, leader of Hounslow Council

‘Alan Keen had great humility and never made enemies’

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

I first worked for Alan in the 1997 General election when I was a new member having lived abroad for a long time and didn’t know many people in the party or how things worked. Alan was always kind and approachable and I was happy to stuff envelopes and deliver leaflets for him. After I became a councillor in 1998 he always encouraged me and eventually I ended up working for him as a constituency aide doing casework and communications. I would travel up to Parliament most weeks and I always admired Alan’s informality and lack of any sense of distance or superiority.

We often talked of football and as I supported Sunderland and him Middlesbrough, we could commiserate at whose team was doing the worst in the league. Alan must have been the most passionate Parliamentarian on football matters and he was lucky enough to get the chair of the Parliamentary Football Committee, probably more meaningful to most footy lovers than what ministers get up to.

Alan encouraged me to aspire towards taking a senior position on the council, and we continued an excellent relationship when I was deputy leader and leader. What I think was Alan’s great political strength was he never made enemies as everyone seemed to regard him with affection. This is a remarkable quality in a politician.

I knew Alan had been diagnosed with lung cancer some months ago but we are so used to the treatment for serious illnesses being so effective that I had every confidence he would make a full recovery. I was amongst those utterly stunned to hear the sad news on Monday. It is a great loss to our Party and all his friends and family.

Cllr Colin Ellar

Alan Keen (1937-2011)

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Brentford and Isleworth Labour Party is sad to hear of the death of Alan Keen, who passed away on November 13, aged 73. Alan had served as a councillor on Hounslow council from 1986 to 1990 and as Labour MP for Feltham and Heston constituency since 1992.

He was born in Lewisham in 1937 but was brought up in the shadow of the steelworks in Grangetown close to Middlesbrough in Cleveland.

Alan left Teesside at the age of 22 to join the army and almost all his three years military service was spent within half a mile of the Houses of Parliament in Whitehall and Wellington Barracks.

After leaving the army, Alan decided to stay in London and work as a systems analyst and manager.  During this period he also ran his own business in the Fire Safety industry and worked as a tactical scout for Middlesbrough Football Club.

As an MP Alan maintained his interest in sport, and was a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.  He was also the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Football Group, which recently undertook an inquiry into English football and its governance.  Because Heathrow is an important focal point in the local area, Alan was also the Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Aviation Group, as well as the All Party Group Against Financial Exploitation.

Our sympathies go out to his wife, Ann, former Labour MP for Brentford and Isleworth, his son and daughter, and all his family and friends.