Labour Activists Rebel Against Keir Starmer After Council Leader's MP Bid Is Blocked

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in the long Room at Trinity College in Dublin.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in the long Room at Trinity College in Dublin.

Keir Starmer is facing a furious backlash from angry Labour activists after a local council leader was blocked from standing to be an MP.

HuffPost UK revealed last week that Doina Cornell had been left off the list of hopefuls looking to be the party’s candidate in Stroud at the next general election.

It is understood the decision followed concerns about social media posts she made in the past.

In a statement on Twitter, Cornell – the leader of Stroud district council – said she was “deeply disappointed” and urged local party members to protest against the decision.

A letter signed by 130 Labour activists in the constituency has been sent to Starmer and David Evans, the party’s general secretary, making clear their anger at Cornell’s exclusion.

They include councillors from Gloucestershire county council, Stroud district council, town and parish councillors, and members of the local party’s executive committee

The letter says: “The decision to prohibit Doina from standing is wrong and we fear will fatally damage our chances of regaining Stroud for Labour; surely something that should be our priority.

“We ask you as a matter of urgency to reconsider this decision. Let her, like all those who want to represent Stroud, put their case. Let us members make our democratic choice and then, whoever wins, we can galvanise behind them and win this seat back for Labour.”

Labour is keen to win the seat back after losing it to the Tories in 2019.

In a letter to party members in Stroud after the decision to block Cornell was taken, David Evans said: “I understand this decision will be incredibly disappointing for Cllr Cornell and her supporters. However, we would urge her to carefully consider the concerns raised by the panel and look to address them ahead of the next round of parliamentary selections.”

A Labour spokesperson said: “Voters deserve the best representatives for their communities in parliament, and with Keir Starmer’s leadership Labour expects our prospective MPs to uphold the highest of standards.”

Source: Huff Post