Analysis Exclusive

Labour Walsall council candidate deselected without explanation after 18 months’ campaigning – replaced by incumbent that members had voted to deselect

Candidate says she incurred hundreds of pounds of campaign expense, only to be levered out anti-democratically

Labour council candidate and Unite activist Andrea Bradley has been deselected by the Labour party as a candidate in Walsall’s council elections – without explanation and after she had already spent a year and a half campaigning for the seat.

And she has been replaced by the incumbent councillor that local Labour members had already voted to deselect.

Bradley was selected as the party’s candidate for Bentley and Darlaston in Walsall – a strong Labour seat – in September 2019. She lives in the ward and has done so for the last 34 years. Had local elections due last year not been delayed by the pandemic, she would almost certainly already be the area’s councillor.

Bradley had spent the last eighteen months leafleting, campaigning, phonebanking, working with the campaign team, campaigning online, building relationships with local businesses and residents, as well as working with local food banks – and incurring expenses of hundreds of pounds in literature and campaign materials that have not yet been reimbursed by the party. All that collapsed when she was summoned to a reselection meeting, in a manoeuvre reminiscent of the party’s ‘coup’ to remove mayoral candidates in Liverpool

After that meeting, she was removed as a candidate and replaced by the democratically-deselected incumbent councillor, by order of a regional board panel.

On Wednesday 24 March, days before nominations were to go in and only six weeks before the election – with her nomination by branch members already confirmed and communicated to the party, Bradley received an email from Labour’s West Midlands deputy regional director telling her a complaint had been made about her selection and was being upheld by the Labour Party Governance and Legal Unit – but with no information about the nature of the complaint. Bradley has still received no explanation at the time of writing.

Despite interventions by Unite and an NEC member, she was deselected.

Bradley was subsequently told:

You demonstrated a commitment to campaigning for local residents and the party.​ However, after much deliberation, they thought that there was not quite enough difference in the candidates to justify unseating a sitting councillor.

Bradley believes that the deselection was:

a blatant stitch up based on fabrications of reality and at short notice to prevent me from taking action to defend my position. I believe that a ‘very very senior local figure’ was the instigator of this action. There is more I could say about this but can’t say more as I am fearful of further punitive action, which might follow.

I believe I have been targeted in this way for two reasons. Firstly because I am socialist and therefore seen as on the left in the party.  I  was a vocal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn during his time as leader.

Secondly, a small minority group of figures with a high profile in my branch and constituency General Committee hold a view that if an existing councillor or other elected person wishes to continue, they should be allowed to do so. They don’t believe in any democracy, they believe in entitlement.

I have never s***posted on social media against the party or leadership, or any individual, yet I was removed ruthlessly by the right wing of the party.

To sum up after 18 months of campaigning including  the distribution of thousands of leaflets, hundreds of doors knocked. After spending hundreds of hours. Having put my private and professional life on hold for the Labour party, at huge personal and financial cost and sacrifice of my family life, [as well as] having gone part-time at work for the last 18 months.

I believe this whole saga shows the complete contempt with which our membership is treated. The total disregard for human compassion and any respect for rank and file activists. If they can do that to me, they can do that to anyone. They have shown it is their party, their rules, their selections, their game. We arent even players despite our activism and our membership being the life and soul of this party..

The manoeuvres to remove Bradley are being reflected in similar tactics all over the country as the Labour right, which whinged continuously over every democratic deselection during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, wages war to force out democratically-selected left-wing candidates.

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22 comments

  1. In the 1970s in Walsall, the local Labour Party operated in a way that owed much to Chicago under Mayor Daley. Seems like not a lot has changed. Watching the Labour Party over the past twelve months has been like seeing the slowest car crash in history. The only question is whether repairs will be possible or whether it will have to be written off.

    1. There are many of these “Rotten Boroughs” up and down the country, all run by the sort of people you wouldn’t want to share tea and biscuits with, never mind a political party, not if you are on the Left anyway.

      1. Yes indeed . The very short 2015 to 2019 ‘Corbyn Left Insurgency’ never had a chance (and certainly not the WILL or required RUTHLESSNESS) to transform significantly either the Right v Left composition of the PLP or local councils – because the Right have been well dug in, in all the key ‘gate-keeper’ positions for decades – sometimes even across multi generational ‘inherited’ councilor positions . So the current nationwide , totally bureaucratic, undemocratic, purge of the Left at candidate level, and across the CLPs and branches at officer levels , is all solid evidence that the Labour Right (and their supposedly ‘Soft Left’ enablers too) was so terrified by the mild reformism of ‘Corbynism’ that they, and their billonnaire backers, have now set out ruthlessly on the ‘mother of all purges’ – dwarfing even the purge of Militant in the 1980’s by far. That this will guarantee the Party is absolutely hammered in both local and national elections (eg the Scottish Parliament elections), for many a year, is apparently of no concern to the Right . They foolishly believe that by the next General Election, circa 2024, the NuLabour 2 Party will be what they want, ie, a tiny membership, closely disciplined, top-down run, totally neoliberal, Party similar to the US Democrats. That the Labour Right, and ‘centre’ seriously thinks such a Party will have any mass electoral appeal just demonstrates the hubris of the Right – fed on the illusions of their ‘liberal’ MSM’ megaphones – and old grandee tricksters like Mandelson and Blair !

        Labour is finished forever as a potential governing party – and will soon be bereft of any significant Left presence at member or officer levels or council candidate levels. Only the self-serving Left fakers of the ‘Socialist Campaign Group’ of the PLP will be left , still emptily pontificating their Leftish slogans, in glorious isolation – but still raking in their comfortable salaries and expenses , as a visible fossil of Labour’s once large Left Wing component of the once ‘Broad Church ‘ Labour Party ! Time for all socialists to jump ship, and stop giving their subs and time to the corrupt, careerist,swamp that is the Labour Right and its NuLabour 2 neoliberal Party.

    2. It’s written off.

      Apart from the stay and fight fools, who’s going to support the anti GRT, the anti LGBT party? The anti working person party…

      They’re a busted flush.

      1. NVLA you are confusing pressure group politics with traditional working class labour voting. Traditional working class labour voters don’t care about the woke warriors of pressure groups best characterised by odd groups of initials, crackpot policies which won’t assist in solving the discrimination/unfairness complained of (knocking down statues anyone), and moaning when their funding looks in jeopardy because society has finally seen through their weird allocation of ‘victimhood status’ on spurious grounds.
        The recent report on ‘institutional racism’ in the UK is an example of the none white authors being denigrated by the race relations industry and those same authors becoming victims of vicious attacks. It is no wonder these pressure groups complaining that any lack of success for a none white person today must be down to racism and nothing else, have been characterised as ‘racism hustlers’ who leach off the all pervading goodwill and money of the majority of the population.

      2. I’m not confusing anything. May will be the first of many painful lessons.

  2. One of the main problems I found as a councillor was that most of my fellow councillors in the Labour party had nothing but contempt for the members and activists and the only common denominator amongst most of them was a perverted right wing ideology.This was in the early nineties and it didn’t get any better under Blair.But I will say that this “Thing” who runs the Labour party surpasses even the warmonger for sheer vandalism and contempt for the Labour party.

  3. Phone banking, eh?

    Not good enough to get the much sought after call off Keith, then? Not even one to say “Thanks for your support, now get in the bin”

    Marvellous. Wee steven and the Walsh one, take note…

    1. @jpenney.

      ….Should I request clearance to make use of the word: ‘banking’?

      Oh shit, too late. That’s twice I’ve done it. My bad.

  4. Just a point,if a candidate is democratically selected,then the expenses clock starts then.,Now shes been replaced the new incumbent candidate has a limit to what has already been spent by the dumped candidate.Now there needs to be scrutinised acounts to understand just what costs will be allowed for the incumbent as expenses have already been used in this ward I presume.I am also aware that cash flow at National level is grim.,and likewise at local level .The Labour party act as if the recent loss of way over a hundred thousand members and subs is not a problem?….I wonder were the shortfall is coming from?…And for the right wing paid trolls..No there is no increase in recruitment to the Labour party….its propoganda unless you mean the increase in employment of Israeli ex military intelligence operatives.

  5. Very important point re cash flow and expenses Joseph, especially as this story replicated in many places with a diminishing income from national membership, and assuming Big Len won’t pick up the tab on this one we might see some of SKS’s new donors breaking cover. Who will want to be seen jumping on the Nu Lab2 SKS bandwagon. Not many I’ll bet.

  6. I feel for you. Like a few hundred thousand of us you have been mistreated, alienated and scrapped by a malicious establishment.

  7. Well it is the knight on the front page of the Huffington post two days in a row and today the toilet paper Guardian .Huffington post asks the question “Can Sir Keir Starmer inject more passion into his politics” ..Well we already know hes definitely in a forensic manner injected a lot of “Passion on here and elsewhere across the Labour party..But unfortunately for him most have been in anger with a good and forceful expressions in four letter words or other words alleging is illegitimacy both physically and mentally.So far from reading the life story of this” wide boy”I was puzzled by who actually wrote this wonderful piece of “Fiction” and who was the author of the new Billy liar. IT does suggest some influence to get this boring looser in the front page,but alas its all for nothing because the tide as turned on our knight and no amount of cosmetic surgery will change the route 1 on the road to destruction.and Nowheresville…And How could you vote for this monstrosity and a Mutant “….from Oxted on the green Surrey….asks shy but determined ex councillor from next door Riegate in Surrey….Joe O’Keefe

  8. So she wasted 18-month campaigning for these scum used her own money and then at the last minute was kicked out. This BS is happening all over the country with the right-wing Tory-lite cult of new Labour 2.0 kicking out socialists. Well, why stay?

    No, honestly they have NO respect for democracy they hate the membership they hate the left ideology so you have to ask WTF are they doing in Labour? Nope, this is NOT my Labour party I wish to recognise and will have any part of.

    Enough is enough can you not see the reality we need to reset restart and for a true socialist Labour party! That represents the true left socialist ideology that respects democracy and rules. The membership and above all will fight for the UK people not just use there positions for their own ends.

    1. Sounds to me that shes only going to give some of the story whilst holding back for….What?..The Lady loves the Labour party but its not reciprocated.She needs to be brave and shes nothing to loose,she will not get her money back because shes literally been mugged in every way possible.This is no way to treat anybody.but do herself i a favour and strike back using the local media reports.Theyre always keen on a good weepy story about political party manoeuvres.Leave the Labour party with your reputation intact and your head held high.Disgusting treatment of a ordinary person who probably can’t afford to loose the money and all the wasted time and effort.

  9. So on the one hand there was a complaint about her selection, and on the other hand “they thought that there was not quite enough difference in the candidates to justify unseating a sitting councillor.”

    I wonder WHO made the complaint, and at such a timely time. And how do they measure the difference between the candidates.

    Perish the thought that Andrea was taken for a ride though! A very long ride!!

    Hmm…..

    I bet they’re STILL pissing themselves laughing about it.

  10. Still the only way through is the long hard road within the Labour Party. Solidarity, Andrea

  11. I found chilling that Andrea’s deselection has been carry out at the last minute. It serves the purpose of making very difficult for her to stand for the position as a Labour independent as no enough time for her to react to the news and decided as to whatever she wishes to stand as a Labour independent.
    After 18 months campaigning on a seat and been a member of the ward, she would have stood good chances of been elected Cllr as an independent against the incumbent but democratically deselected now official Labour candidate. Ordinary Labour voters no necessarily Party members, have enough decency and solidarity that would Andrea’s name still in the ballot papers they would have voted for her.

  12. Meanwhile, unison have replaced a massive load of cowshit with a load of horseshit.

    https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/unite-leader-len-mccluskey-keir-starmer-battles-942078

    But Ms McAnea accused her fellow unions boss of a lack of discipline and reminded him that Unison had held back from public criticism of Mr Corbyn when he was leader.

    I seem to remember quite open support for fatberg watson, meself. If that wasn’t public criticism of Corbyn I dunno what else could qualify

    Mind you, her wisdom knows NO bounds…

    Although she defended Starmer’s first year in the job, she said that union wouldn’t hesitate to oppose him if he acted against members’ interests.

    “If at some point Keir comes out with policies that we don’t support we will happily come out and say we don’t support them and seek to change them.”

    Really? Well he’s been an absolute dreadnought on the subject of NHS pay, hasn’t he?

    unison (along with the pcs) ought to be f**ked off from the TUC as far as I’m concerned. Neither give a tuppenny shite for socialist policies and worker’s rights; and both are led by mules.

    1. Toffee, remember that most medical Drs and nurses aren’t members of Unison. When Christina McAnea talsk about “members” she talks about Unison’s members exclusively.
      Even, them I don’t see her standing for Unison’s members either to tell you the truth, I believe most likely is all empty talk. Pity since they are a lot of good socialist members in Unison.
      I can only hope that the lesson has been learned and at the next election for Unison GS only a left candidate stands against her to stand a reasonable chance at winning it.

    2. Time to dispel the myth that Unison, SCG , TUC, are going to save the party. They won’t in fact they’ll work well with nulabour. Keep your subs and time.

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