Labour splits over candidate selection for Lewisham East by-election

Politics Home reports of Labour infighting, and complacency, over the selection of their candidate for the Lewisham East Parliamentary by-election:

Labour bosses have been accused of a “stitch-up” designed to ensure a left-wing candidate will be chosen to stand in the forthcoming Lewisham East by-election.

Senior members of Labour’s national executive committee – including Jeremy Corbyn – will meet this morning to agree the timetable for the race, including which of them will make up a panel to decide the shortlist of candidates.

But that has sparked an angry backlash from local activists in the south London constituency…

They have insisted there is no need to rush the process, given that Ms Alexander retained the seat at last year’s general election with a majority of more than 21,000.

Ian McKenzie, chair of the Lewisham East constituency Labour party, wrote… “Without consulting a single member of the Lewisham East Labour party, the officers’ group of the national executive is meeting at 10.30am tomorrow to decide the selection process for deciding who replaces Heidi Alexander as our MP, a position someone could hold for decades.”

There does seem to be a touch of complacency from the local Labour Party, not worrying about giving other parties more time to campaign and already planning how they may have a new Labour MP for decades.

Wouldn’t it be a shame if that complacency was misplaced? For better/worse Labour in Parliament have been less complacent, setting the date for the by-election as 14 June.


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