Carmarthen selection – Uproar at lack of transparency, democracy & fairness


“Constituency members have been told that the process has been fair but the words have a hollow ring to them.”

By a Welsh Labour Grassroots spokesperson

The Welsh Labour selection for the parliamentary candidate for Carmarthen has prompted widespread uproar about lack of transparency, party democracy and fairness. It’s heartening that at the selection hustings – from which the front-runner had been barred just days before – the majority of members were so aggrieved when they heard about the turmoil that they voted to halt proceedings.

Hats off to them for standing up for the democratic principles we all hold dear. As Michael Crick suggested in his Tomorrow’s MPs Twitter feed, this has been the first successful revolt in this round of selections.

The Party has rescheduled the final hustings for Friday 15th September (6.30pm for a 7pm start) to be conducted online, with voting being by email, open for 24 hours. That means the vote will still be taking place during next meeting of the Welsh Executive Committee (WEC), which has the power and duty to ensure fairness in selections.

Constituency members have been told that the process has been fair but the words have a hollow ring to them. They have been assured that the many serious questions about the process will be looked into. It would be good if the Party could assure all members that the process has been lawful.

Has it followed its own agreed procedures? Has it considered that the self-sabotaging arrogance of doubling down on the unfair decisions made so far could be very damaging to the Party’s reputation? Has it taken legal advice about excluding the person everyone expected to win and therefore potentially be Carmarthen’s next MP, based solely on one piece of unsubstantiated evidence?

We have no skin in this particular game. However, we care very deeply about members having the right to choose their parliamentary candidate, about fairness and about how the Party is viewed by the electorate. That’s why we urge the WEC when it meets next week to write off this shoddy farce and start again, having taken appropriate advice. After all, the buck stops with them.

As Zoe Allan, Secretary of Welsh Labour Grassroots commented,“It’s sheer, muddle-headed hubris by Welsh Labour which has caused this crisis. They seem to think that rushing this deeply flawed process through will mean an end to it, but we all know that’s not how hubris works. They need to take a step back and rethink, before the repercussions are felt beyond the membership. Details of the quagmire are already being published by the press but the WEC still has a chance to make this right if it acts now.”

Featured image: Labour canvassing session. credit Yorkshire & the Humber Labour Party

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