Former Sandwell assistant CEO drops out to help unify left vote
Melanie Dudley, the former assistant chief executive of Sandwell Council, who blew the whistle on the behaviour of allies of local MP Tom Watson, has announced this morning that she has pulled out of the selection contest for Labour’s candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the West Midlands.
Ms Dudley has issued a statement addressing local members this morning to explain that she has done so in order to consolidate left support behind Unite-backed candidate Simon Foster:
Dear Labour Party Member
You will shortly be receiving your ballot paper for the selection of the Labour Candidate for next years Police and Crime Commissioner election. I am very honoured to have been short listed for that position. The role needs a left wing candidate.
However after several weeks of hustings and meeting with CLPs it has become clear that as one of the candidates on the left there is a danger of the left vote being divided. This would mean that we end up with a PCC candidate who does not reflect our party as it is now.
Therefore I have come to the conclusion that in order for the left to unite behind one candidate I should withdraw and support Simon Foster. He is an excellent candidate, importantly with the support of Unite the Union and someone whose policies I wholeheartedly endorse.
I want to see a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn. With that in mind we need left wing candidates for every position. We also need to sometimes set our personal ambitions aside for the bigger prize. My commitment to that cause will not waver and I will be looking to play my part going forward.
It has been a joy to meet so many Labour Party members over the hustings period. I look forward to working with you in the future.
The other candidates in the race are Birmingham’s former Lord Mayor Yvonne Mosquito and former Blair minister Mike O’Brien. O’Brien announced this week that outgoing PCC David Jamieson, another former Blair front-bencher, has endorsed his candidacy.
The SKWAWKBOX applauds Ms Dudley’s decision to step aside for the sake of the Labour cause. Tom Watson, are you watching?
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