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Sir Keir Starmer is hit by mass Labour walkout after 16-strong Wakefield executive quit in protest at lack of a local candidate in by-election
- Wakefield’s Labour Party executive committee protested lack of local candidate
- The 16-strong local party executive had said it was quitting en masse in walkout
- It comes as Sir Keir Starmer faces forthcoming crunch by-election in the city
Sir Keir Starmer has been hit by a Left-wing revolt in Wakefield as the entire 16-strong local party executive walked out in a row over candidate selection.
Ahead of a forthcoming crunch by-election in the Red Wall city, the constituency Labour Party executive committee said it was quitting en masse in protest at the lack of a local candidate.
Members also claim the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) have not kept to the party’s rules about by-elections.
Sir Keir Starmer (pictured this week) has been hit by a Left-wing revolt in Wakefield as the entire 16-strong local party executive walked out in a row over candidate selection
The by-election was triggered by the resignation of ex-Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan after he was convicted last month of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.
A statement from Wakefield Constituency Labour Party said: ‘We asked for local candidates, but there are none.
‘Three prominent council and local Labour candidates, including the deputy council leader didn’t even make it on to the “longlist”.
The by-election was triggered by the resignation of ex-Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan (pictured) after he was convicted last month of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy
A shortlist of four was requested by our representative…but the NEC members insisted on just two.’
The local party added: ‘Representations to party officials at the highest level have got absolutely nowhere with some queries not even answered.’
They said Labour’s rulebook states that the five-person panel selecting the candidates should include three people chosen by the local Labour Party, with one each from the NEC and the Yorkshire region. They said they were given only one space.
The final two candidates are Community union’s Kate Dearden, from Bradford, and NHS worker Simon Lightwood, a member of Labour’s national policy forum. One will be chosen tomorrow.
A Labour Party spokesman last night defended the selection process.
‘We’re really pleased to have two fantastic candidates on the shortlist with strong connections to the local community,’ he said.
A date for the by-election has not yet been set.
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