| Sam Atkinson |
Opponent of Jeremy Corbyn
Until 2 February 2017, Sam Atkinson was Chair of the Clacton Constituency Labour Party. She resigned from the Executive Committee with immediate effect, as did her 17-year-old daughter Danielle, the vice-Chair Dan Casey and the Treasurer and acting Secretary Chris Bird. No reason was given for their resignations.
Labour leadership nominations
In August 2016, the Clacton Gazette reported that the Clacton CLP had met to decide which of the two Labour leadership candidates to nominate. At the meeting, 48 members voted for Jeremy Corbyn and 21 preferred his opponent Owen Smith, with one spoiled ballot paper.
Ms Atkinson said the result was expected, despite her opposition to Jeremy Corbyn who, she said, “preaches to the converted” rather than appeals on the doorstep, as voters keep telling her.
She hoped the 130 who had joined the party locally since its AGM in April, giving it 350 members, its highest in her six years with Labour, would help it win. However, the working single mum said there were many “keyboard warriors” who say things need doing, but they never find the time to help the party, so the extra numbers may make no difference:
- “Whether there will be a party split remains to be seen. I joined the Labour Party because it’s the Labour Party. I believe in what it is doing. No one person is bigger than the Labour Party.
- "I want it to stay as the Labour Party, for us all to work together. Those who say they will leave are not true Labour.”
Sam Atkinson - sister-in-law of Blairite former MP Ivan Henderson - stood in the May 2017 Essex County Council elections as Labour candidate for the Clacton North division. Tory Ian Wood was elected County Councillor, Sam Atkinson came second with 725 votes.