Fight to succeed James Purnell turns nasty

Tameside Eye has the story about the fight to win the Labour selection in Stalybridge & Hyde, where James Purnell (he of the dramatic Cabinet resignation) is standing down. It has both its serious and its farcical elements.

The serious: a series of anonymous emails have been sent out making a wide number of personal attacks on Cllr Jonny Reynolds, one of those in the running to be Labour candidate. The emails have come from two IP address: one which has also been used by another Labour Councillor, Sean Perry-Parker, to send out emails and a second one which is a local council IP address (and therefore possibly also used by councillors). However, when asked about this overlap of IP addresses, Cllr Perry-Parker attacked the blogger, talked about involving the police and suggested it was a Tory-inspired attack on him. The one thing he didn’t do was to provide any explanation as to why his own internet use has overlapped with that of the person running the smear campaign against Cllr Jonny Reynolds.

The farcical: one of the allegations made involves misuse of public funds, running into thousands of pounds. Pretty serious stuff if true, but only listed number three in a list of seven initial allegations. Number one on the list? An allegation involving James Purnell sourcing 3,000 fridge magnets (value: £250) from Israel.

You can read further details, and see the IP address evidence, over on Tameside Eye.

Selection contests in the Liberal Democrats just aren’t the same really.

Note: the Liberal Democrat candidate is John Potter.

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