Nine leading members of the Bolton Labor Party resigned after accusing a ‘London clique’ of dictating the selection process for a parliamentary candidate. All members were part of the Bolton North East branch of the party and formed the selection committee for the Parliamentary constituency.

It is understood that they were furious that the national Labor Party selected the list of candidates for the bid and imposed a three-person list against the wishes of many local party members. The seat, which Conservative incumbent Mark Logan won in 2019 with a majority of just 378 votes, is an essential target seat for the party if it is to win over the Tories at the next general election.

He Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that one of the issues that infuriated the committee was the absence from the list of North West Labor president Leigh Drennan, who they believe was prevented from running. Drennan had been endorsed by Labor MP Angela Rayner and several unions for the candidacy.

The statement, from the nine members, including Chairman Tony Shepherd, Vice-Chairman Florence Hill and Secretary Bernadette Gallagher, read: “Following the announcement of the long list for Bolton North East, we now have no confidence in the integrity of Party members. Labour. selection process and have collectively resigned from the selection committee and executive position we hold. “Once again it appears that the Labor Party seeks to promote the views and attitudes of a cabal in London, rather than local members in the North.

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“This goes against the attitude needed to bring back the red wall, which is desperately needed to achieve a Labor government.” Drennan said: “It is with profound sadness that I announce that I have not been included in the North East Bolton parliamentary selection by Labor for a long time, and will not have the opportunity to make my case to local Labor members.

“I was very proud to secure the endorsement of Unite, UNISON, GMB and CW, four of the biggest unions affiliated with the Labor Party, and the campaign I ran, however short. “Despite my disappointment, I will be as active as ever in the Labor Party, fighting for a just society, and I would like to ask everyone who supported me to stay as well.”


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