Ten senior people in Wirral West’s Labour Party have resigned from their roles over the selection process for its next general election candidate.
The party had begun the process to select a candidate for the next general election with a number of candidates putting themselves forward.
The process started after current Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood announced she will be standing down at the next general election meaning the Labour Party needed to find a new candidate to keep hold of the seat.
On 31 September, a shortlist of four Labour candidates was announced. On the list were former Upton councillor Matthew Patrick, Claughton councillor Gillian Wood, former Bromborough councillor Sue Percy, and Jen Thornton who grew up in Wirral West and is a trade union representative.
They will now go to members to try and win votes in order to become the party’s next representative at a meeting on 16 September, pointing to examples of their work within the party and locally to win members’ votes.
However, a number of candidates including Wirral Council’s former leader Cllr Janette Williamson, Cllr Liz Grey who lives in west Wirral, and former chair of the Wirral West Labour Party Gail Jenkinson, who is also a Greasby councillor, did not make the shortlist.
Following the shortlist’s publication, Ms Jenkinson and nine other officers have now resigned from their roles within the local Wirral West party. This includes a vice chair, disability and Black and Minority Ethnic representatives, and a policy officer.
In a statement sent to party members in Wirral West, the group said, “As socialists and democrats, we believe that the principles the Labour Party stands for should be reflected throughout the party including respect for member involvement, fairness, transparency and equality. Ours should be a party that operates in the spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.”
The statement was posted on X (previously known as Twitter) to an account linked with the Wirral West Labour Party but shortly after, the account was deleted or disabled.
In a separate statement posted to X, Labour’s former Wirral West youth officer Eddie Jones was especially critical but said he still plans to vote for whoever is the Labour candidate in the general election.
He said, “It is not the duty of a party member to blindly and voluntarily campaign for whoever happens to wear a red rosette on polling day but it is to campaign for those who would be the best representative possible for the area.
“As none of the candidates meet this threshold, I will not be campaigning or endorsing anyone in this selection contest and I am currently undecided of whether I will vote at all.”
A Labour Party spokesperson said, “Selection processes for Labour Party parliamentary candidates are properly administered in full accordance with procedures set by the National Executive Committee.
“We’re really pleased to have four fantastic candidates on the shortlist with strong connections to the local community. Thanks to Keir Starmer’s leadership, the Labour Party has put in place robust processes. Keir believes that the public have a right to know that everyone we put forward at election time is of a high standard.”
The Conservatives and the Green Party are also choosing their representatives. The Liberal Democrats and the True and Fair Party, led by anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, have already chosen theirs.
Lead image: Gail Jenkinson has resigned from her position as chair of the Wirral West Labour Party. Credit: Edward Barnes