Wolverhampton Labour councillor 'gobsmacked' after deselection

A Wolverhampton councillor said she is "gobsmacked" after being deselected from standing in her ward at next year's local elections.

Barbara McGarrity celebrates retaining her Spring Vale seat earlier this year
Barbara McGarrity celebrates retaining her Spring Vale seat earlier this year

Barbara McGarrity was first elected as a Labour councillor for Spring Vale in May 2018 and retained her seat this year with a reduced majority.

However, she has been deselected by local Labour members and will not be able to stand in the ward at the city-wide elections in May 2023.

Councillor McGarrity, who has lived in Wolverhampton for over 20 years, is a trained clinical nurse specialist and has two grown-up children, one of whom is TV presenter Radzi Chinyanganya.

As well as being the council’s climate change champion, she chairs the residents, housing and communities scrutiny panel and sits on the corporate parenting board, scrutiny board and select committee.

Councillor McGarrity said: “I was actually chairing a scrutiny panel meeting at the time I was deselected, so I didn’t find out until much later as it was done in my absence. I was gobsmacked when I was told.

"I’m very involved in the community and this has made me feel sort of ‘homeless’ because Spring Vale is my ward and the one that I have represented and want to continue representing.

"No-one has given me any reason as to why this decision has been taken.

“At the moment I do have a few options and will keep going. I don’t want to be forced out. If and when I do go, I want to do it in my own time."

Councillor McGarrity has been backed by a number of residents, including Anthony Davies, who said: “Ever since she was elected, Barbara has done a fantastic job."

A spokesperson for the council said the matter was a ward issue and nothing to do with the Labour group.

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