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The Laz Word...on Jake's progress

Has Liverpool's youngest councillor blown it in his very public spat with MP Luciana Berger? Or will he emerge a hero?

Written by . Published on June 4th 2013.

The Laz Word...on Jake's progress

JAKE Morrison burst onto the Liverpool political scene, fuelled by nothing more than a breath of fresh air. 

Aged 17 he was selected by Wavertree ward Labour Party branch to do what seemed the impossible. He was to take on the mighty Mike Storey, a big figure in both local and national politics. Just 18 at the time of the council elections in May 2011, he beat the former Liverpool City Council leader. Talk about  David–v-Goliath, this was even bigger. 

He will have caused blood-boiling anger by
allowing the row to become public property

The day after his electoral sling, giant-slayer Jake received a congratulatory phone call from Labour Party Leader Ed Milliband. The teen was an overnight sensation, pictured with a beaming smile surrounded by Louise Ellman, Maria Eagle and Liverpool’s third female MP, Luciana Berger. 

Today, Jake must be wondering if  his political career is in tatters, wrecked by a most public spat between him and Wavertree MP Berger, whose own selection to the seat was controversial.  A shadow Government minister for Energy and Climate Change, she is destined, should Labour ever re-occupy No 10, to be a member of the Cabinet. 

A few weeks ago, Jake told Twitter followers that he had decided not to stand when his current council term of office ends in 2015. His decision stunned supporters who saw the fresh-faced bespectacled socialist as a cheerleader for Labour youth. He had put the issue of compulsory defibrillators in public places onto the Parliamentary agenda, for one, backed by a massive signature campaign.

Jake batted questions from all and sundry about the REAL reasons for his decision. Now it’s all come out in the form of an email exchange involving Jake, Luciana, Mayor Joe Anderson and Ed Milliband.

There’s been a spectacular fall out between the city’s youngest councillor and the MP, leading to an official complaint about his conduct by the latter to Mayor Joe. 

Happier TimesHappier Times

In response, Jake has written to Milliband complaining of Luciana’s alleged conduct towards him, accusing her of smear tactics, adding:  “Here we have in Luciana, a privately educated MP from London, who has come to Liverpool and made my life unbearable.” 

Both exchanges were published on his Facebook page but the letter to the Labour leader was later removed.

Later, a spokesman for Team Berger responded:  “Cllr Morrison’s allegations are completely untrue. We work as a team in Liverpool Wavertree. Unfortunately communication with Cllr Morrison has broken down."

Perhaps to take the heat out of a bubbling volcanic eruption, Mayor Joe has told Jake to take a month off from his busy council schedule. This will also give party bosses time to decide what, if anything, to do. 

Perhaps, if they had any sense, they’d send Jake and Luciana to Relate in the hope some counselling could bring about a harmonious reconciliation. 

If it does all end up in divorce who will end up with custody of the Labour Membership card? I’m thinking not young Jake: the only card he might see being the red one. 

He will have caused blood-boiling anger by allowing the row to become public property. Indeed the letter from Luciana talks not of what Jake has been doing, rather what he has not been doing. 

Following the 2010 general election defeat, Labour has turbo charged its use of social media, taking a leaf out of President Obama’s success with twitter, facebook etc being his weapons of mass communication. Here in Liverpool that includes enlisting Obama campaigner Arnie Graf in Wavertree. 

Words and phrases like “comprehensive agreed script”…”processes”… “training activities” abound in Luciana Berger's email. They mean business.

Jake Morrison believes certain people within his party want him out now, but he insists he is staying until his term of office expires in 2015. 

Ed-Miliband-Calm down: Jake Morrison writes to Ed Milliband

What can Labour do, if reconciliation, re-education or rehabilitation don’t work? They can’t dispatch the bingo-loving councillor to Siberia.

They could expel him from the party or withdraw the party whip. That would make him a lonesome footsoldier in the council chamber, but also a loose cannon.


Older and possibly wiser people quickly advised Jake to keep quiet, delete his Facebook posts and sort out things the old fashioned way. 

But just as he burst onto the scene, all fresh-faced, his conduct now has all the hallmarks of an innocent abroad, speaking as he finds. 

Isn’t that still refreshing compared to a stage managed, manipulated, controlled alternative? 

 However, the move has been branded elsewhere as attention seeking.

The letter to Jake from Luciana, copied to Mayor Joe and Labour’s chief whip, Alan Dean, doesn’t show her in a particularly flattering light and played straight into the arms of her critics, including some within the Labour Party itself.  

So far it’s a draw, but as extra time is played out will it go to a political penalty shoot-out?

War of words


From: BERGER, Luciana (luciana.berger.mp@parliament.uk)
Sent: 31 May 2013 12:34:17
To: Morrison, Jake (Councillors) (Jake.Morrison@liverpool.gov.uk)
Cc: joe.anderson@liverpool.gov.uk (joe.anderson@liverpool.gov.uk); Dean, Alan (Alan.Dean@liverpool.gov.uk)

Dear Jake
I understand from your tweets that you have been knocking on members' doors. As you will be aware from the many emails that Sheila has sent you, and which you have sadly ignored, we have had a training session with Arnie Graf from which the Wavertree CLP Members' ID scheme was launched, and we now have a very comprehensive agreed script and process. Indeed we went out on Tuesday with an Old Swan councillor to start the activity off, and which was very successful.

You have not replied to any of the emails confirming your availability for the summer campaign which includes member engagement. You have not visited the office to collect a copy of the script, which includes a list of all the forthcoming CLP events which we are inviting members to. You have not engaged with the constituency in some time and have chosen not to discuss your facebook/twitter resignation announcement with either the officers of the CLP, branch, your co councillor or indeed myself. 

Of the 14 Labour councillors in the Wavertree Constituency you are the only one who chooses not to engage with my office, or get involved with our constituency activities. I have also had a number of complaints raised with me about your behaviour and action with regard to the Heygreen school going into special measures and the MANWEB field.

I am copying in Joe and Alan Dean by way of a formal complaint about your behaviour and your complete lack of team work and respect for other members.

I would appreciate a response

Luciana Berger
Labour and Co-operative MP for Liverpool Wavertree
Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change

Extracts from Jake's latter to Ed

"Ed, I have put my heart and soul in to serving the people of Wavertree. In February 2012 you even recognised this, in a speech to Labour Youth Conference. I am comfortable saying that I really do believe I have made a positive difference for people in Wavertree. I have worked to bring back a sense of community, pulling people together – while also dealing with specific personal issues. It is suffice to say that if I wasn't receiving this treatment from Luciana and her team, I would be absolutely determined to carry on." 

"I would much rather prefer to be putting my time and energy in to working for the people of Wavertree, than pleasing the local MP. I trust that the people of Liverpool will judge my work by what they can see."

"As Luciana is a member of the Parliamentary Labour Party, and a Shadow Junior Minister, I would absolutely urge you to interject and put an end to this nonsense once and for all."

"I can't believe that as someone who was a keen UNISON rep, and principled Labour member, I feel pushed out of the LABOUR PARTY. I will not be resigning my membership of the party, but I appreciate that because I have went public with this issue, disciplinary procedures may need to take place. But I can only try and assure you that this was the final straw, and I could take no more."

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31 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

SaladDazeJune 5th 2013.

Send for Ed Balls. He could use the money he plans to take off the pensioners to buy a Gala lfe membership for Jake. All this fun confirms why people are queing round the block to join the LP.

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

Jake Morrison! You have transgressed, and now you must pay the price! There is no room for conviction within what the Labour Party has become. Like top level football, politics is now exclusively the property of the rich and the well connected. Cleanse your mind of foolish notions of right and wrong, Jake. Come, Jake, embrace ambition! Personally, I thought Lucretia, or whatever her name is, was also rather harsh in her treatment of Phil Hayes. Didn't anyone tell her that it was totally out of character for him to use such language? I'm sure somebody must have! Maybe she'll move court one day, like Erzsebet Bathory?

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

Poor old Phil Hayes had his life completely ruined after his drunken run in with Lucretia, which, as you say, was completely and utterly out of character for him. Careful Jake.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Boris PicketJune 5th 2013.

What happened to Phil Hayes?

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

You're right, it was cruel. Curlywurly corporate party bum licks who suck up to her are more to blame. They have known Phil for a long time. Same rules apply with Jake. They will drop their drawers for who ever is closest to the power source.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Observer 1June 5th 2013.

Interesting that not one of Jake's Labour Party colleagues have raised their heads to support him.

RamseyJune 5th 2013.

What has happened to Mr Hayes since?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

Well put it this way, he will never get over it.

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

Just to be clear Phil Hayes was convicted and find for the racial abuse he directed at Ms Berger. Whether out of character or not isnt the point, Ms Berger was the victim of a crime and you should not blame victims for the crimes commited against them, which regretably is what some posters above seem to want to do. Personaly I cant help but thing the labour party have brought this situation on themselves by selecting two very young candidates. Life experience seems to be what is missing here on both sides. Once again the only winner will be the power hungry vote winning machine that modern politics has become.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Flying PicketJune 5th 2013.

Ms Berger is 32 and as for life experience... Aside from that, the Labour Party has now strayed so far from its supporters and its roots that only the completely deluded feel they can vote for it any more. I hope Arnie Graf has got a good "script" for that one on the doorsteps of Wavertree!

Boris PicketJune 5th 2013.

"Racial abuse"? Phil Hayes? I don't believe it!

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

It's being reported this afternoon (June 5) that Jake has been suspended by the Labour Party. So much for being a member of the Labour Party 'family'. Would they abandon one of their own family members if there was a squabble? Probably.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Observer 1June 5th 2013.

So much for Red Ed fighting his corner

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

The letter from Berger is bullying. She is not the sort of person fit to be any sort of public representative. If Labour are too stupid to see that then more fool them. As for the laughable nonsense about scripts et al - no wonder so many people are alienated from politics.

SaladDazeJune 5th 2013.

Tony will be laughing all the way to JP Morgan.

Anton JosephJune 5th 2013.

One of these people has yet to comment. The other has outed private emails on Facebook and Twitter, staged a phoney resignation only to retract it in the midst of a self staged public spat designed to maximise attention and sympathy. Who exactly is the careerist again ??

TourmanJune 5th 2013.

Time to join UKIP, that will wind Uncle Joe up even more. Jake is right about Lucrezia Berger, why she ever got to be an M.P. for Liverpool is beyond me, other than friends in high places, what qualifications does she have to be a local M.P. Stand against her at the next election as the UKIP candidate and you will walk it.

1 Response: Reply To This...
ChopperJune 6th 2013.

Join UKIP? Don't be ridiculous.

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

i hope he stands against her in the next election

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

At least Luciana got an easy ride from the political editor of the Echo

AnonymousJune 6th 2013.

He cant just join UKIP (too mad for the Tories, not violent enough for the BNP) There is a massive difference in political thinking. Mind you, Gary Millar might if they look like winning. Re Phil Hayes. P.H has private issues which I am absolutely sure Lucretia was made aware of. Lucretia was the victim of a few words spoken by a very tired and emotional man, who has worked tirelessly for the good of Liverpool, and a man who could not ever be seriously described as a racist. The language he used that night was accurately described as racist, but I have heard very much worse from drunken friends, acquaintances, and strangers without it ending up in court. Lucretia evidently sees her self as superior, and is prepared to be quite cruel.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 6th 2013.

I suggest you get some new friends.

AnonymousJune 6th 2013.

Phil Hayes used to be a steward at Liverpool matches in the 1980s and I recall him bodily throwing somebody out of Anfield after they made a casual racist remark from the KOP. Despite the fact that he did everything possible to put the incident with Lucrezia right the next day, it was not enough to stop the police being called. He had a long, unblemished record of making Liverpool a much better place. I doubt the Wavertree MP will be able to say the same

AnonymousJune 6th 2013.

I'm thinking Ms Berger has lost the support of many people in Liverpool over the way she has handled this most unfortunate affair. You'd think somebody seemingly of Cabinet potential would have had the wisdom to resolve things in a more diplomatic way. If Ms Berger goes off on one everytime somebody upsets her I hope she never becomes Defence Minister.

Professor ChucklebuttyJune 7th 2013.

I believe that in this story fact may be following fiction or near as dammit. This is what's really going on. profchucklebuttychronic.blogspot.co.uk/…/battle-rages-across-city-as-dark-forces.html…

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyJune 7th 2013.

I think we should all take the more typical Liverpool school approach and form a circle around the 2 of them and shout fight, fight, fight. I'll have 4-1 on a Berger victory.

AnonymousJune 7th 2013.

Dumblemayors dopelganger is awesome prof

Anton JosephJune 8th 2013.

Just a thought but if we're going to berate somebody for 'coming here' and setting their professional stall up .... where does that leave our love for Bill Shankly ?

Anton DeckJune 8th 2013.

Who he? Someone from the old days?

Aunt SinpantsJune 10th 2013.

None of this is new. Remember how Jane Kennedy was 'parachuted in' to displace Terry Fields as Labour MP for Broadgreen? www.guardian.co.uk/…/labour.tradeunions…

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