Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Entire Wakefield Labour Party executive quits in by-election candidates row

A Labour Party rosette (Danny Lawson/PA)
A Labour Party rosette (Danny Lawson/PA)

The entire executive committee of Wakefield’s local Labour group has resigned in a row over the party’s candidate selection for an upcoming by-election.

The constituency Labour Party’s executive say they are quitting en masse in protest at the lack of a local candidate.

Members have also accused the National Executive Committee (NEC) of allegedly not keeping to the party’s rules about by-elections.

A statement from the Wakefield Constituency Labour Party (CLP) 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 onto the ‘long list’.

“A short list of four was requested by our representative on the panel to give members some choice but the NEC members insisted on just two.”

It added: “Representations to Party Officials at the highest level have got absolutely nowhere with some queries not even answered.

“As a consequence, the constituency executive (comprised of local branch representatives and constituency officers) decided last night to resign en bloc with effect from the Sunday selection meeting.”

They also said the party’s rulebook states that the five-person selection panel should include three people chosen by the local Labour Party, with one each from the NEC and the Yorkshire region.

Imran Ahmad Khan (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Imran Ahmad Khan (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The CLP said: “The NEC simply reversed this, with three from the NEC itself plus one for region and one local (which had to be female).

“The rules say there should be a week between publication of Shortlist and the vote, so members can find out about the candidates and a chance to think about their choice.

“The NEC have given two clear days.”

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 source from within the Wakefield CLP accused the national party of failing to listen to the views of local members and residents.

They voiced concerns that the two final candidates had previously been Remainers. Wakefield voted to leave the EU by more than 60%.

Speaking to the PA news agency, they said: “Neither of them are from the district and members are very disappointed at the process and the lack of engagement. It’s about listening to members, listening to residents.

“It seemed very clear from the beginning they didn’t want a local candidate. They pushed very heavily.

“Why should we give up hours and hours of our time voluntarily to campaign when our wants and needs aren’t being taken into consideration?”

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “We’re really pleased to have two fantastic candidates on the shortlist with strong connections to the local community.

“On Sunday, local members will make the final choice on a candidate who will be a strong champion for Wakefield and represent a fresh start against a backdrop of Tory failure.

“Wakefield has been badly let down by the Conservatives and our focus is on winning the by-election and ensuring local people in Wakefield get the representation and the hard working MP they deserve.”

The national party said the process of choosing a candidate had followed NEC guidance, used in other recent by-elections including Erdington and North Shropshire.

The by-election follows the resignation of Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan after his conviction for sexually assaulting a boy.