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UK Politics: News In Brief

Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Published at 22:06 GMT 23:06 UK

Labour failed on Euro turnout - Beckett

The Leader of the House of Commons, Margaret Beckett, told delegates at the Labour conference that the party had not done well enough in June's European elections.

Mrs Beckett, who was the party's campaigns co-ordinator during the election, said turnout in elections to the European Parliament had "sadly always been poor.

"That's a trend we tried hard to reverse. But bluntly, we failed."

Mrs Beckett also denied she had been on a caravanning holiday during the campaign.

She said: "I read that I had a really good time. But since I wasn't there I really wouldn't know."

'General election would challenge party funds'

Financing an election campaign in 2001 would be a challenge to the party's coffers, delegates at the Labour conference have heard.

Labour treasurer Margaret Prosser unveiled the annual financial report for 1998 and revealed although the party had a record surplus of 4.47m at the end of 1998, heavy spending on the summer's election campaigns had helped cut its reserves to just over 1m.

Ms Prosser dismissed fears that spending on membership drives and new computer technology this year could leave the party weakened when it came to fight the next general election.

But she admitted financing an election held in 2001 would be a "real challenge".

Union representatives elected to NEC

The election results for the trade union section of Labour's ruling National Executive Committee have been announced at the party's conference in Bournemouth.

Those elected to the NEC were Vernon Hince (Rail, Maritime and Transport 3,138,000 votes; Mary Turner (GMB) 3,117,000 votes and Michael Griffiths (Graphical, Paper and Media Union) 3,117,000.

Also elected were Margaret Wall (Manufacturing, Science and Finance) 3,117,000; Diana Holland (Transport and General Workers Union) 3,117,000; Maggie Jones (Unison) 3,116,000; Cath Speight (Amalgamated Electrical and Engineering Union) 3,116,000 and Steve Pickering (GMB) 3,115,000.

The party also elected John Hannett (Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Trades) 3,081,000; Derek Hodgson (Communication Workers' Union) 3,081,000; John Gibbins (AEEU) 3,058,000 and Anne Picking (Unison) 3,033,000.

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