It seems that despite taking the very generous pension availed to him by the PCS union, former PCS Deputy General Secretary Hugh Lanning is determined to carry on his political career. Having failed to get elected as General Secretary of the Probation Officers union, NAPO shortly after "retiring" last year, he now has his eyes set on Westminster Palace.
The Canterbury Times reports:
Labour have selected their candidate to run against Julian Brazier for the parliamentary seat of Canterbury and Whitstable.
Hugh Lanning, a lifelong trade unionist and Labour Party member, has served as Deputy General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, and remains an activist in Unite Against Fascism and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.....
Lanning is a rather odd choice for the modernised Labour Party as his career, such as it was in the PCS union relied on his being part of an unsavoury alliance with the remnants of the old Militant Tendency that helped make Labour so unelectable back in the eighties.
Indeed as part of the unions ruling group Lanning was also allied with the Socialist Workers Party and other far left activists that have helped make the PCS union a former shadow of what it used to be. They labelled his mainstream pro Labour opponents as the "right wing".
Lanning is best known for his leadership of the rather unsavoury Palestine Solidarity Campaign which whilst not in itself an anti-Semitic certainly has attracted somewhat repugnant elements such as his predecessor Francis Clark Lowles who was expelled from the PSC for being a Holocaust denier. Worryingly 20% of the pro-Palestinian activists actually voted against his expulsion!
Lanning is also a fan of the Cuban dictatorship and for several years ensured that the end of PCS conference social was a propaganda bash for the pro-Castro Cuban Solidarity Campaign. Not even the announcement of huge numbers of redundancies of civil servants by the communist regime shook his support for the Stalinists.
Nicknamed as Hugh "passport" Lanning by the unions unofficial satirical website the PFLCPSA, he gained a reputation for visiting some of the more dubious regimes such as Cuba, Chavez's Venezuela and not forgetting the Gaza strip controlled by the Islamist terrorists of Hamas.
Certainly not someone I would want representing Labour in Parliament. But then this seems to be part of a pattern of failed leftists seeking new careers inside the Labour Party. Lanning joins the openly Stalinist Andy Newman of Socialist Unity "fame" as another of a new wave of unelectable Militants seemingly wheedling their way inside Labour.
Ed Miliband needs to check on what is happening at his "grass roots". The last thing Labour needs is a new "Militant"problem as the general election approaches.