LOCAL members of the Labour Party were denied a meeting to discuss the selection of their election candidate, leaked emails have revealed.
In an email chain obtained by the Herald, the Constituency Labour Party secretary, Valerie Reid, addressed members surrounding ‘anger’ over the selection.
She said: “I have been contacted by many members in the last week or so since the GE Campaign candidate was announced.
“There would appear to be a great deal of anger at the way the candidate was announced as a fait accomplis.”
There was a meeting planned for Sunday afternoon at 1pm but further emails show that this was blocked by the Scottish Executive Committee.
Labour rules state that meetings require ‘the express support of the Executive Committee of the CLP and require at least seven days’ notice.’
The email said, sent by Kayleigh Quinn, the Scottish Organiser for the West of Scotland in Labour.
It read: “I have been made aware of a proposed Special General Meeting on Sunday 14th May to discuss the selection of the Labour Party candidate for the General Election and the selection process by the Scottish Executive Committee.
The rules on Special General Meetings are clear that they require the express support of the Executive Committee of the CLP and require at least 7 days’ notice.
“Furthermore, the Scottish General Secretary, in line with precedent set in all election campaigns, contacted the Executive Committee of the CLP on May 3 to inform them there should be no CLP or Executive Committee meetings unless they are solely to discuss matters relating to the General Election campaign.
“Re-visiting a decision taken by the Scottish Executive Committee of the Party is not a justifiable reason for a meeting that does nothing to move the campaign forward in North Ayrshire.
The decision over the candidate in North Ayrshire and Arran was given due consideration by a representative Panel of the SEC and the decision, as in all cases, was unanimous in the end.
“It is for this reason that this meeting should not go ahead as proposed.
“Any decisions taken at such a meeting will be invalid. Should the CLP wish to raise the issue with the SEC they should do so after the election.”
A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “Applications flooded in from across the country to stand in this election, such is the determination of members to elect a Labour government for the many, not the few.
“Due to the exceptional nature of this election, all candidates were unanimously selected by a panel of the Scottish Executive Committee, with representatives from trade unions, our local parties and the party leadership.
“Our candidates are running a positive campaign to transform the lives of people across Scotland, while the SNP has nothing to offer but further division within our communities.
“Every Labour MP elected will be a champion for their local community, while every SNP MP elected will only care about a divisive second independence referendum.”