I had my first meeting of Labour's Regional Board last night in Gosforth since the local elections. Regional Board brings together representatives from the sub-regions, the affiliated trade unions and socialist societies to help give the Party a steer here in the North East.
We receive regular reports from the Director of Labour North Fiona Twycross, Stephen Hughes MEP and Dari Taylor MP on behalf of the Parliamentary Party.
Clearly I can't blog about internal Party discussions, but a presentation on the local election results here in the North East was very revealing. Nationwide, this was probably one of the best results the Tories have had since the 1970's, yet once again they performed poorly here, and couldn't repeat any of the spectacular gains they made elsewhere. The North East is still very much a battleground between the Tories and the LibDems to see who is second to Labour, with the outcome by no means certain. The independents remain weak, and once again the BNP failed to win a single seat. Although the LibDems made some gains, there's real evidence that Labour is beginning to drive them back in Durham City (where our vote was up 5%) and in Newcastle, where they lost a net 2 seats to us.
Overall, an encouraging picture as we embark with a new Leader and Deputy Leader of the national Party.