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Hen Harrier champion goes independent

One of the MPs departing the Labour Party today is Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, and the Hen Harrier champion in Westminster.

I know Angela to speak to, and she attended the Hen Harrier Day rally in the Goyt Valley in 2015, and so I sent her a quick message of support today. A message saying that I admired her stand and that I might follow her eventually but I was sticking with Labour for a while yet – but I wished her well.

It will be hard for an independent MP to retain their seat in a constituency where they are lacking resources and up against the Labour Party candidate as well as all the other candidates.

As a pro-Europe MP she struggled to hold her seat in the 2017 general election, but just managed it, when the UKIP vote went over to the Conservative candidate. Who knows what will be the background to the next general election but Angela’s stand is brave because she may well lose her seat next time around.

Under such circumstances MPs sometimes become braver in what they say. There is plenty more that Angela could say on behalf of Hen Harriers in Parliament.

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