Local Labour Party accuses national party of ‘blocking’ its choice for who should run as MP for Kimberley

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A Broxtowe Labour Party committee has accused national party officials of unfairly ‘imposing’ who will be allowed to stand as an MP in the area.

Broxtowe Labour Party’s selection committee released a statement on Tuesday saying they were resigning from the process.

Political parties are currently putting forward candidates ahead of a General Election which is expected next year.

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The Broxtowe Labour committee said their choice of a local candidate had been "blocked” by Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee.

Coun Greg Marshall has twice missed out on election to parliament.Coun Greg Marshall has twice missed out on election to parliament.
Coun Greg Marshall has twice missed out on election to parliament.

Earlier Coun Greg Marshall, Broxtowe Council member for Beeston West and deputy leader of Broxtowe Labour Group, said he had missed out on the short list and felt “huge disappointment”.

Conservative Darren Henry is currently MP for Broxtowe constituency, which serves Kimberley.

Coun Marshall unsuccessfully stood as the Labour candidate in 2017, finishing second to Conservative Anna Soubry by just 863 votes, and 2019, when he again finished second, 5,331 votes behind Mr Henry.

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A Labour Party spokesperson said “robust due diligence processes” had been used to select the shortlist.

In their statement, Broxtowe Labour’s selection committee said: “The constituency party has been sidelined throughout the entire process and our choice of candidates has clearly been rigged to suit the leadership’s preference.

“In short, London-based officials have sidelined local party members and decided for themselves who is worthy of representing Broxtowe constituents.”

In a statement published on February 28, Coun Marshall said: “It is with huge disappointment that yesterday I was blocked by the Labour Party from standing to represent Broxtowe at the next general election.”

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“The unfairness of this decision is something that will take a long time to overcome, especially given I have stood twice before, served as a councillor and deputy Labour leader for more than a decade and am currently leading a national strike for Britain’s largest union and important Labour affiliate, Unison.

“I have been blocked because the party knew I would win. Although this is a tough pill to swallow, I will continue serving residents of Broxtowe as a councillor as I have for the last 12 years.”

He said he had the backing of the “majority” of members from the local party as well as trade unions, and regional Labour figures.

Hopeful candidates must first get onto a longlist, selected by Labour’s National Executive Committee, the party’s ruling body. A shortlist is then provided before constituency members pick their candidate.

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It is understood that the three shortlisted candidates are Juliet Campbell, Jamie McMahon and Anna-Joy Rickard.

A Labour Party spokesman said: “Thanks to Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership, Labour is now a serious, credible government in waiting and our candidates reflect that. Robust due diligence processes have been put in place to make sure everyone selected is of the highest calibre and for that we’ll make no apologies.

“Labour has changed. Sir Keir believes politics can be a force for good and that his government can restore the faith in it that 13 years of Tory government has carelessly eroded.

“The public rightly expect anyone asking to hold office is of the highest standard and with Labour they can. We’re pleased outstanding Labour candidates have already been selected in constituencies across Britain and that work continues.”