GRASSROOTS Coventry Labour members say the “farce” surrounding Geoffrey Robinson MP’s ‘resignation’ has discredited the party among voters in next month’s elections.
In open opposition to the traditional call for party unity during campaigning, Sherbourne ward Labour party members endorsed a statement noting their “alarm and concern”.
Mr Robinson three weeks ago ultimately declared he would stand to retain his Coventry North west seat for the tenth time after all.
The previous day, an email from his constituency party hierarchy had been sent to members stating he was resigning.
We had exclusively revealed the story and a leaked email which appeared to show Ed Miliband aide Greg Beales was being lined up as a late replacement.
Sherbourne Ward Labour Party in the Coventry North west constituency held an Emergency General Meeting last week, and unanimously endorsed the following public statement: “Sherbourne Ward Labour Party notes with alarm and concern the publicity surrounding the standing down of the sitting MP for Coventry North West, Geoffrey Robinson, within weeks of the general election, and the subsequent announcement that he would, after all, be standing as a candidate.
“The whole farce only serves to discredit our Party in the eyes of potential voters for Labour.
“Sherbourne also notes with despair the emails circulating between Geoffrey Robinson MP in Coventry and his friend, LP member Greg Beales in London, revealing attempts to parachute into the Coventry NW constituency the favoured candidate Greg Beales who is close to the Labour Party leadership.
“Again this farce not only further discredits the Labour Party at such a crucial time but also reveals attempts to remove from Labour Party members the democratic right to choose candidates for elections.
“Sherbourne believes, however, that despite the outrage felt by many Labour Party members over these events, the overriding task for many Labour Party supporters in this election is to do all that is possible to prevent the return of a Tory government and this can only be done by working to ensure that we elect as many Labour MPs as possible.
“Sherbourne Ward therefore calls upon Labour supporters across the city of Coventry to turn out on Election Day, May 7th, and vote for Labour candidates in the local and national elections.
“Sherbourne Ward believes, however, that once a Labour government has been elected it will be the task of all Labour Party members to ensure that our government carries out policies in favour of our supporters, the working class people of Coventry and Britain.”
In an interview with the Coventry Observer last week, Mr Miliband declined to say how much he had known about the aborted Robinson/Beales plan.
The Sherbourne ward recently reselected Coventry City Council cabinet member Damian Gannon as its candidate for council elections.
Some party members claimed there had been a ‘stitch up’ by others amid attempts to quel potential rebellion against Labour leaders at the council.