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Exclusive: ex-arms-promoting right-winger Akehurst in control of Liverpool council selections

Left-wing and anti-war city left to tender mercies of one of party’s most entrenched anti-left figures – and former arms promoter

Labour has allocated shortlisting for local by-elections in Liverpool – a staunchly left-wing city and the scene of fierce opposition to the weapons fair starting today in the council-owned ACC centre – to right-wing NEC member Luke Akehurst.

Akehurst is a former PR man for a range of arms companies, who left that job to run a pro-Israel PR group. In recent weeks Liverpool has seen marches against the arms fair, whose exhibitors include a number of Israeli weapons firms and others who sell arms to Israel’s government – marches that featured representatives of Liverpool’s Palestinian community talking passionately about the oppression and destruction inflicted on them by the Israeli government and military.

Akehurst also runs right-wing pressure groups ‘Labour First’ and ‘Labour to win’. Liverpool is one of and probably the most left-wing city in the country and rallied strongly behind the vision for real change of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

When Keir Starmer made one of his several betrayals of Liverpool by backing Tory-appointed ‘commissioners’ to take over key areas of the council, Akehurst backed the Tories’ move too:

Right-winger Gerard Coyne was rightly reviled in Liverpool for writing in the hated S*n and being backed by it during the recent Unite general secretary election. Akehurst and his pressure groups urged Unite members to support Coyne.

And when Wavertree Labour members objected to then-Wavertree MP Luciana Berger – elected as a Labour candidate – defecting to the ‘Tinge’ party without resigning her seat so that local people had a say on whether they wanted her as a representative of her new party, Akehurst backed Berger and told them to shut up:

Keir Starmer’s name is mud in Liverpool, with interfering in the selection process for Labour’s mayoral candidate, then allowing the S*n space at Labour’s conference then shortly afterward writing for it, just a few of his crimes and insults to the city.

Now Starmer’s regime is pouring more scorn on Liverpool – both party members and voters – and what they stand for by appointing a person opposed to the city’s values to decide who gets to stand for the party when it next goes to local voters.

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