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Investigation launched over Dudley Labour group meeting

By Jamie Brassington | Dudley | Politics | Published:

An investigation has been launched after a Labour Party meeting in Dudley allegedly descended into a farce.

It is claimed about 22 party members were stopped from taking part in a leadership vote on February 7.

Issues were raised about the transparency of the voting process at the meeting of Dudley North's Constituency Labour Party.

It was alleged too many votes were cast and one candidate's names was not read out clearly to the audience.

A letter of complaint, sent to Labour, said: "This should have been an all members meeting; however, not all eligible members of the CLP received an invite to the meeting, or a calling notice.

"Approximately 22 members were told they were ineligible to vote but were not given a reason, or an explanation, as to why they could not participate."

The letter of complaint sent to Labour. Page 1
The letter of complaint sent to Labour. Page 2

It is claimed these members were barred from taking part in a bid to swing the vote in favour of certain candidates.

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The CLP's chosen candidates was Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader and Richard Burgon for deputy.

Abid Hussain, who signed the letter, said: "They wanted Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon to get selected. There was a lot of people there, who have been members for months and years, who got turned away at the door."

It is alleged a total of 96 votes were cast but there was the number of eligible voters was only 90.

"The chairman asked the meeting how many people had voted who should not have voted," said the letter. "There was no response from any member."

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There are also claims the choices for the BAME vacancy on Labour's National Executive Committee were not read out clearly.

Dudley North CLP's chairman Councillor Shaukat Ali is the group's first choice, but a second candidate was allegedly mumbled.

The letter added: "For the BAME vacancy, two nominations were moved and seconded. The vice-chairman then announced that members could vote for Shoukat Ali and mumbled a second name which nobody could hear.

"Someone from the floor then clarified there was a second candidate and members had two choices."

Councillor Shaukat Ali was approached for comment.

The letter of complaint has been signed by 20 people and sent to Labour's West Midlands office.

It is understood Labour has started an investigation into the complaints.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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