After campaign criticism, Labour’s organiser passes the Buck

Thursday’s Euro election results are expected tonight, but in Croydon Labour the party in-fighting has already begun, as WALTER CRONXITE reports

Recriminations and faction fighting has broken into public among the Croydon Labour Party even before the votes have been counted today for the European elections.

Inevitably, at the centre of a simmering row is Jack Buck, the full-time “professional”, self-described “borough organiser”, employed by Tony Newman and the Labour group.

Buck, a prominent member of Momentum and an elected councillor in Southwark, has launched an attack on Seb Dance, the No2 on Labour’s list in London for the European Parliament, and likely to be returned to Strasbourg as a result of Thursday’s vote.

Dance came to Croydon for the somewhat subdued launch of Labour’s EU election campaign, appearing on a platform alongside Progress MP Steve Reed OBE.

Dance’s mistake, in Buck’s eyes, was to state publicly after the election that not enough had been done during the brief campaign to challenge Nigel Farage.

“He goes unchallenged, unmatched,” Dance tweeted.

Labour MEP Seb Dance addresses the Croydon Euro election campaign launch, with Steve Reed OBE (second from right) and Tony Newman watching on

“The opposition to his programme – which should be the core mission of parties like mine – is lacking. We must rise to this challenge and fast!”

In charge of organising election campaigning for Labour in Croydon is… Jack Buck.

Buck’s angry response saw him calling yesterday for mandatory re-selection of Labour MPs by party members. Buck spends much of his time based in the office of Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones.

Buck, who is never shy in coming forward to express his own, often strident points of view on social media, apparently without any fear of sanction from his employers or local party, was highly critical of Dance for what the party employee has deemed to be a breach of party discipline.

“What a surprise that two days after [the election], in all likelihood, being re-elected some choose to revert to criticising the party,” was Buck’s interpretation of Dance’s comments on Twitter.

“All with a General Election on the horizon and the potential for a majority Labour govt. ”

For Jack Buck, campaign organiser for Croydon Labour, criticism of the way campaigns are run is clearly not allowed

Now Buck wants to have the party take action and give members the power to stop such disloyalty being displayed again.

“The party must put a stop to this by ensuring members have a say in #GE2019 selections,” he tweeted.

Possibly Seb Dance’s most well-remembered contribution to the European Parliament

Of course, much has changed within the Labour Party since 2015, although Reed (who was selected as Labour’s Croydon North candidate in 2012) and Jones (2014) have never had to face any re-selection process before the much-enlarged memberships of their Constituency Labour Parties since Jeremy Corbyn became party leader.

Dance’s finest moment as an MEP was the occasion when, in a European Parliament session, he sought to subvert Farage by holding up a sign stating “He’s lying to you”, with an arrow pointing in the direction of the former leader of UKIP.

“Farage has been allowed to sail through this campaign repeating the same *lies* as he did in 2016,” a clearly frustrated Dance tweeted this weekend.

Dance looks likely to be re-elected, but he will probably be one of only two Labour MEPs in London. In 2014, Labour had four MEPs elected.

Turnout in the Euro elections on Thursday was better than in 2014, with Sutton’s voter participation up 6.8 per cent on five years ago at 46.3 per cent by the time polls closed.

Croydon, where Jo Negrini, the council’s £220,000 per year chief executive, routinely pockets an extra £10,000 or so every election as returning officer, is systemically slow and inherently secretive in its counting process. So unlike many local authorities where the democratic process is conducted openly and transparently, there is no official information on turnout in Croydon.

Pelling at the polls: denied access to official turn-out figures in Croydon, the councillor resorted to recording ward data on his smartphone

Social media posts from Waddon councillor Andrew Pelling suggested a jump in turnout in the evening after a quiet day in polling stations, and a suggestion that young professionals were notable for their presence in their voting booths. This may suggest a vote share for Remain parties.

Pelling reported that, “Waddon Labour party made a big effort to encourage Labour supporters to go to the polls.”

Labour did seem to be the most active party on election day.

Croydon’s Conservatives appeared to want to pretend the European elections did not exist, as instead of carrying out the election day ritual of knocking on doors and “getting the vote out”, Croydon Tories instead chose to attend a dinner for Home Secretary Sajid Javid to raise funds for… election campaigns.

They might need the money soon, too, if that General Election does take place.


About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in 2019 European elections, Andrew Pelling, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Jo Negrini, Sarah Jones MP, Steve Reed MP and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to After campaign criticism, Labour’s organiser passes the Buck

  1. sebastiantillinger7694 says:

    Jack who?

    • Nick Davies says:

      Well quite. Check his Linkedin. Another whose exposure to the real world is superficial. He could just as well have a name like Mario and be working for the Tories.

      And we wonder why the populists (CEO N. Farage) are so successful in riling up those feel no connection with these tossers.

      • trinityofjwmum says:

        Buck worked as a waiter for pity’s sake. He’s hardly my cup of tea politically but at least he’s been out in the real world, doing a real job.

        Mario is the son of Italian immigrants so no major shocker he has an Italian name???? He is a regular guy born and raised and educated in Croydon. He is a very competent and engaging speaker, just ask the boys at Trinity School to whom he gave an address earlier in the year. It’s unfair to call him a tosser.

        • Mario Creatura has a long and well-deserved reputation, fostered over nearly a decade, as a 9-carat, Nuclear-weapons-grade tosser. That’s an entirely fair description – although it is good to learn that he is keeping close ties with his soon-to-be-ex-boss’s old school and the very privileged boys who go there.

          • trinityofjwmum says:

            Can you provide a few examples? My son and his friends were enormously grateful to Mario for taking the time to speak with them about his experiences working at No.10 Downing Street. He is enormously proud of his Croydon roots, state education and upbringing – are you saying it’s all a load of baloney?

          • Don’t be so lazy. Type in “Creatura” in the search box on this website and do your own research, accessing for free nine years of archive of the sneering, self-serving, political careerist.
            Or I could bill you our usual rate for research work…
            Did none of the bright young things at your boy’s £18,000 per year private school think of asking the wannabe Tory MP about his part in the chaos and division that Theresa May has caused?

  2. trinityofjwmum says:

    If he is as disliked as and self-serving as you suggest, why oh why has he been selected to run for parliament in the next general election?

    Surely he has some redeeming characteristics? I like what I see to be perfectly honest with you. My son is seriously considering taking politics at university now such was Mario’s impression on him.

    I suspect Conservative keynote speakers aren’t as welcome at Shirley Comp up the road, and what a shame it is when local children are denied the opportunity to be addressed by politicians whatever political party they’re from. Let’s give all our children the opportunities to be inspired, not only those at leading fee-paying institutions.

    • He was chosen because that’s the best that they have. He probably had an endorsement from his loyal boss, gaffe-prone Gav, he played to the Brexit-backing audience, and Croydon Central isn’t seen as a winnable Tory seat any longer by Conservative careerists from outside the borough.

      And your rank prejudice about state schools is really a little trying: no school staff would ever turn away the offer of a reasonable speaker from any major party, in an effort to enliven otherwise dull, under-resourced (thanks to the Tories) general studies periods. Indeed, local politicians should probably consider doing a tour of the borough’s sixth forms as a better use of their time that their constant rounds of pointless leafleting.

Leave a Reply