Ealing Southall MP accused of being ‘absentee’ by local members. Vote appears to have been from both left and right
Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma is on track to join Margaret Hodge on the list of ‘triggered’ MPs after the first two local Labour branches to vote whether to have a selection contest voted heavily in favour. The votes are understood to have come from across the Labour spectrum.
Elthorne branch voted 30:3 and Southall Broadway 74:32. A third branch tomorrow is thought likely to vote to trigger – and as Ealing Southall CLP (constituency Labour party) has seven branches, this would be enough to force a contest.
Sharma lost a CLP-wide no-confidence vote earlier this year. Among the complaints of members were that he had not attended a CLP meeting for twenty-one months and that his response to case work is ‘slow and inadequate’. Speakers at the no-confidence vote also complained about an email Sharma sent to the whole CLP suggesting new members were racist.
In 2017, Ealing Southall residents staged a protest asking the Labour Party to provide a different candidate for the general election. Their reasons for the request included that Sharma “has made statements – on the parliamentary record – that are hugely inflammatory towards our Muslim community and has sent abusive and extremely personal messages – worse than anything Simon Danczuk did – to at least one of our highly-respected Sikh residents that he then sent out verbatim to around a hundred other people to embarrass him. “
Mr Sharma told the SKWAWKBOX that he was ‘disappointed’ with the ‘democratic’ results but wanted to see how the final result turned out. However, he did also make a remark about identifying ‘who was behind [the trigger move]’ once the trigger issue is decided.
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