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Michael Lavalette (born 1962) is a member of the Socialist Workers Party and former local councillor in Preston, Lancashire, England. He was first elected as a Socialist Alliance candidate shortly after the Iraq War began in 2003. In 2007, he was re-elected, this time standing for the Respect Party. In the Respect split in 2007 he remained loyal to the SWP and broke with George Galloway. Re-elected in 2012 as an Independent Socialist, he was affiliated with TUSC until he retired from his seat in 2015.
He is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Liverpool Hope University, formerly having worked at both Liverpool and Central Lancashire universities. Along with Chris Jones, Iain Feguson, and Laura Penketh, he was an author of the Social Work manifesto for a new engaged practice and organiser of the Liverpool and Glasgow conferences of the Social Work Action Network (SWAN), which stands in the radical social work tradition and seeks to oppose the increased managerialism and privatisation within the social work profession, and to promote social work practice based on principles of social justice.
At the end of 2008 the Social Work Action Network ran a campaign defending social workers in the aftermath of the Baby P tragedy. Shortly after, along with Iain Ferguson, he wrote a polemical pamphlet called 'Social Work After Baby P' that included significant contributions from academics, practitioners and senior trade union officers.
Lavalette originally joined his local Labour Party in North Ayrshire at the age of 16 in 1979, but by January 1981 he had left to join the SWP. In the early 1990s he moved to Preston for work and became politically active in the local labour movement.
In Preston he continues to be politically active. He is the co-ordinator of the local Stop the War Coalition. He organised a solidarity day in Preston for victims of the Asian Tsunami and has led campaigns against hospital privatisation, Islamophobia, the wars in the Middle East and support for local trade unionists on strike.
In May 2007 he was re-elected to Preston council and held his seat until May 2011, when he lost it to Labour. In December 2010 Michael Lavalette proposed a motion to Preston City Council calling for opposition to cuts, job losses and privatisations. This motion had the backing of the local trades council and of 'Preston Against Cuts'. 5 Labour councillors had voted and spoken in favour of this motion at these meetings. When it came to the full council meeting however, all the Labour councillors voted against this motion, and for an amendment supporting 'fairer' cuts backed by the Liberals and Tories.
In May 2012 he contested the seat again as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition supported candidate and was re-elected.
Lavalette regularly contributes to the Lancashire Evening Post.
Lavalette stood as a Socialist Alliance Against the War candidate. He was well known in the area as the leader of the local Stop the War Coalition. The "Against The War" label was crucial in gaining him victory in a ward with over 40% Muslim voters.George Galloway was alleged to have backed Michael Lavalette in this election, which was one of the charges that led to George Galloway being expelled from the Labour Party.
|Socialist Alliance||Michael Lavalette||546||37.81|
|Labour||Musa Ahmed Jiwa||440||30.47|
|Liberal Democrats||Liam Pennington||220||15.24|
|Socialist Alliance gain from Labour||Swing|
|European Election 2004: North West England|
|Labour||Gary Titley, Arlene McCarthy, Terry Wynn
Brian Simpson, Theresa Griffin, Rosie Cooper, Albert Catterall, Rupa Huq, Ebrahim Adia
|Conservative||Den Dover, David Sumberg, Robert Atkins
Jacqueline Foster, David Newns, Alfred Doran, Eveleigh Dutton, Leslie Byrom, James Mawdsley
|Liberal Democrats||Chris Davies, Saj Karim
Helen Flo Clucas, Qassim Afzal, Stan Collins, Allison Seabourne, Paula Keaveney, Neil Corlett, Alison Firth
Gregg Beaman, John Browne, Gerald Kelley, Alan Weddell, Stephen Roxborough, Richard Buttrey, Graham Cannon, Roy Hopwood
|BNP||Nick Griffin, Martin Wingfield, Anthony Jones, Patricia Thomson, David Joines, Ralph Ellis, Richard Chadfield, Anita Corbett, Barry Birks||134,959||6.4||+5.1|
|Green||John Whitelegg, Gina Dowding, Spencer Fitz-Gibbon, Kay Roney, Peter Cranie, Vernon Marshall, Vanessa Hall, Kenneth McIver, James Craig||117,393||5.6||+0.0|
|Liberal||Steve Radford, David Green, Hazel Williams, Philip Burke, Christopher Lenton, Christopher Barnes, Michael Butler, Robin Radnell, Daniel Wood||96,325||4.6||+2.4|
|English Democrat||Christine Constable, Mark Wheatley, Julia Howman, Stephen Pipe, Lauren Spratt, Phillip Evans, Robert Abrams||34,110||1.6||N/A|
|Respect||Michael Lavalette, Ahmed Hadi, Sabiha Vorajee, Alexander McFadden, Stephen Metcalfe, Madeline Heneghan, Richard Searle, Edna Greenwood, Susan Mary Bond||24,636||1.2||N/A|
|Countryside Party||Rodney Black, Richard Malbon, Richard Ormrod, Kevin Tomkinson||11,283||0.5||N/A|
|ProLife Alliance||Fiona Pinto, Julia Millington, Kathleen Delarmi, Rosanne Allen, Fiona Daly||10,084||0.5||N/A|
|Independent||Ronald Alan Neal||8,318||0.4||N/A|
|Labour Co-op||Mark Hendrick||17,210||50.5||-6.5|
|Liberal Democrats||William Parkinson||5,701||16.7||+3.5|
|Labour Co-op hold||Swing||-3.2|
Lavalette kept his council seat, Preston Town Centre, with 1179 votes (more than 52%) increasing his majority by over 19%.
|Liberal Democrats||Helen Greaves||206||9.2||-6.1|
In May 2011 he lost his seat to Labour. He stood as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate because the SWP had left Respect in 2007 and since joined TUSC.
|Labour gain from TUSC||Swing|
Lavalette successfully stood as an independent in 2012 in the ward which he has always stood in, Town Centre. Due to making the decision to stand at the last minute he did not have time to gain documents giving him the right to stand for Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition so had to stand as an independent candidate.
|Independent gain from Labour||Swing|
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