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Stephen Kinnock: who is Derek Hatton?

21 February 2019

10:53 AM

21 February 2019

10:53 AM

Derek Hatton’s journey from Militant councillor to not-quite Labour member has been something of a rollercoaster in recent days. After being banned for 32 years for being part of the Militant tendency, it was revealed that Hatton had been readmitted to the party on Monday. Two days later, Labour said that he had been suspended once again – pending an investigation into a tweet he sent in 2012.

One person who clearly hasn’t been following the twists and turns of Hatton’s story though is the Labour MP for Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock. In an interview on Newsnight last night, Kinnock was asked by Kirsty Wark what he thought about Hatton’s readmittance, and subsequent removal from the party. But the MP, somewhat bizarrely, responded that:

‘My initial reaction was Derek who? I mean who is he? Where has he been for the last 30 years?’

Mr S couldn’t help but be slightly surprised at Stephen’s memory lapse. After all, it was his father, Neil Kinnock, who managed to drive out Militant from the party when he was Labour leader. And, in a speech at Labour conference in 1985 (when Stephen was 15), it was Kinnock senior who lambasted Hatton and the hard-left faction for setting an illegal budget in Liverpool and sending redundancy notices to council workers in taxis. It ended up being one of the defining moments of his career, and is remembered as one of the great speeches of modern British politics.

Exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to slip from your son’s mind…


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