Local MP complains about leaflet after Hall Green CLP supports Salma Yaqoob for West Mids mayor
The West Midlands Mayoral Labour candidate election has become mired in accusations, after a Labour CLP (constituency Labour party) felt it had to clarify its support for one candidate after another candidate published a leaflet they said implied support for him.
Liam Byrne distributed leaflets which members – and the local MP – complained made it appear that Hall Green CLP in Birmingham had backed his candidacy:
When several members contacted the branch after seeing Liam Byrne’s leaflets, Moseley and Kings Heath Labour Party took to Facebook to confirm that Hall Green CLP had endorsed Salma Yaqoob to be Labour’s candidate for the region’s ‘Metro Mayor’ role .
The branch posted:
Following a number of inquiries, we are aware that material about the West Midlands Metro Mayor selection has been sent to Labour members.
Moseley & Kings Heath branch would like to put on record that Hall Green CLP held a nomination meeting on 11 October where the majority endorsed our branch member Salma Yaqoob as Labour’s candidate.
We look forward to campaigning with whoever is successful, and for Simon Foster in the Police and Crime Commissioner election.
Hall Green is Yaqoob’s own CLP and she won the hustings by a wide margin.
Hall Green MP Tahir Ali said :
I am very disappointed Liam Byrne has muddied the waters in this West Midlands Mayoral election. Hall Green CLP took the time to hold a nomination meeting on October 11 and our members chose Salma Yaqoob as our preferred candidate.
Mr Byrne has been criticised for previous election materials, such as a 2015 leaflet calling for “stronger border controls, new exit checks to count people in and out of the country, ban visa overstayers and bring back fingerprint checks for illegal migrants in Calais”, which the Tories conned Labour’s then-leader of the council into condemning as ‘abhorrent’ by disguising it as a UKIP leaflet. Byrne said his document had been selectively quoted.
Liam Byrne told the SKWAWKBOX:
Frankly, I’m baffled by [the complaint]. We have already over 150 endorsers and supporters for our campaign including John McDonnell, and ten trade unions and affiliates along with what’s now literally thousands of members…
[O]ur literature is written as a friendly address either to each constituency (inside Birmingham or Coventry) or to each Borough (outside Birmingham or Coventry). Hence the name of the particular constituency or Borough – together with the names and pictures of the local constituency or Borough-specific supporters, below their shared message – which features above their photos – and which reads ‘we’re voting Liam’.
I’m genuinely perplexed and mystified to see how the leaflets could be read as anything else as an endorsement from the people whose pictures and quotes are featured so prominently below the banner.
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