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Former Aslef president calls on Labour not to field a candidate against Chris Williamson

A LABOUR councillor has called on the party to “do the right thing” and not field a candidate against Chris Williamson in Derby North.

Former Aslef president Tosh McDonald, who is a Labour councillor in Doncaster, came out in defence of Mr Williamson today.

Mr Williamson is standing as an independent candidate in Derby North, where he served as a Labour MP before he was suspended by the party.

He was one of three former Labour MPs who was blocked by the party from standing as a Labour candidate in the December 12 general election.

Mr McDonald said: “The election in Derby North will be close, so I hope Labour will reconsider fielding a candidate against the sitting MP Chris Williamson, who is a longstanding supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s socialist programme. 

“Ever since he was re-elected in 2017, Chris has toured the country to promote Jeremy’s leadership, champion party democracy and explain how a Corbyn-led socialist Labour government could transform the economy, reduce inequality and eradicate poverty.  

“Chris is also well known and respected in Derby, having served two terms as the council leader and being twice elected as the MP for his home city. 

“He offers the best hope of retaining the seat and keeping the Tories out. 

“Given his outstanding record of campaigning, his history of public service in Derby and his steadfast loyalty to the leadership, nominating an official Labour candidate could allow the Tories to capture the seat.

“I therefore hope the party will do the right thing to ensure the MP returned to Parliament to represent Derby North is enthusiastic about Labour’s socialist programme and supports Jeremy Corbyn as leader.”

Labour did not comment on Mr McDonald’s request but is currently standing Unite regional officer Tony Tinley in Derby North.

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