You would think Labour have learnt the lesson about by-election candidate stitch-ups after the roaring success of Dr Paul Williams in Hartlepool – alas not. Now it’s the turn of Wakefield, where the local party’s executive committee has just resigned en masse following Southside’s decision to block a Corbynite candidate, Jack Hemingway, from standing, and draw up a shortlist of two candidate options, neither of whom is from or lives in Wakefield. Starmer continuing with his recent run of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory…
This morning Labour List revealed the party’s North West regional director had accused Labour of breaching their own rules with the stitch-up.
Every member of the constituency Labour Party executive voted to quit in the last few hours, in protest at the selection farce. One said it’s “Safe to say that local members feel completely let down that the rule book has not been followed and we have not been given the opportunity to select our candidate”
“The Labour Party haven’t learnt and they’re not listening. The rule book has just been through the window and I’m furious. People are hitting the ceiling about it.
“That’s everyone gone. Imagine the party will have to come in. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“There is immense anger among the local membership at what they perceive as a stitch-up.”
The issue is angering the left immensely for two reasons; when he was running for leader Keir promised these kind of shenanigans would end and they wanted a left-wing candidate:
The selections for Labour candidates needs to be more democratic and we should end NEC impositions of candidates. Local Party members should select their candidates for every election.— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) February 4, 2020
The local executive’s full statement can be read here. Labour never passes up an opportunity to focus on process, rules and internal factional infighting over the actual job at hand…