Sandwell is a West Midlands borough neighbouring the better-known town of Dudley. It contains the constituencies of three MPs: Warley’s John Spellar, West Brom East’s Tom Watson and West Brom West’s Adrian Bailey.
Spellar is well known as a viscerally anti-Corbyn and anti-Momentum MP, who once agreed on national TV that he used the term ‘Momentum member’ as an insult. He also recently emailed a joke about trans members to various recipients from his parliamentary email account.
Watson is Labour’s deputy leader and was involved in attempts to persuade Jeremy Corbyn to resign as party leader during the period of the post-referendum ‘chicken coup’.
Like any local authority area, Sandwell Labour Party has a ‘Local Campaign Forum’ (LCF) responsible for organising electoral campaigns and, crucially, in selecting the candidates who will stand in local elections.
Sandwell LCF has been – for those in the know, at least, at the centre of controversy, with allegations flying of unconstitutional actions, data protection breaches, sexual harassment, racism and rigging of candidate selections, as locals claim that the ‘ruling’ faction exploits, or fights to maintain, its control. Some of the allegations are the subject of legal actions.
The LCF met last night and was, according to local sources, ‘venomous’ – with representatives of MPs and others allegedly voting to block an application by the third MP for the local candidates ‘panel’, followed by an unsuccessful attempt to have the same MP’s representative ejected from the meeting.
So dire has the situation become that senior Labour sources tell the SKWAWKBOX that the party’s National Executive Committee is considering suspending the LCF pending action to clear out the sources of the trouble so a clean start can be made.
The mere hint of such a move in the heartland of such central figures on the Labour right will send shockwaves through ‘moderate’ circles that have been fighting tooth and nail to retain their power and influence.
More details to follow…
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