Well, it worked so well in Hartlepool…
Labour is discussing a further ‘parachute candidate’ in the Batley and Spen by-election, via a similar ‘shortlist of one’ to that imposed for the Hartlepool by-election, according to party insiders. The by-election has been triggered by Tracy Brabin’s win this evening in the Yorkshire ‘metro mayor’ contest.
Those in the running to be imposed on local members are said to include ex-MP Paula Sherriff and a local right-wing woman councillor. Technically, Labour’s rules do not allow ‘all-women shortlists’ in by-elections, but the need to replace Brabin with another woman candidate is likely to be used as an excuse by the party machine for the imposition of another single-candidate shortlist.
Well, it worked so brilliantly in Hartlepool…
Of course, any negative reaction to the move might force the timorous Keir Starmer into another u-turn – as he has tried unsuccessfully to execute in his sacking of Angela Rayner:
With Rayner’s supporters now reportedly on manoeuvres and trying to raise support for a leadership challenge, a by-election in another working-class, leave-voting (by c. 60%) seat where Labour had a majority of only around 3,500 in 2019 is likely to be the last thing Keir Starmer wanted – but he seems yet again to be doing his best to turn it into an even bigger car-crash than it might otherwise be.
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