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Beth Winter calls for independent review of Labour's selection process

LEFT MP Beth Winter has today called for an independent review of the selection process for the Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare constituency which she claimed was “unfair, undemocratic and discriminatory.”

Ms Winter has hit out after she was narrowly defeated by frontbencher and current Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney MP Gerald Jones in June for the new seat, which merges the two existing constituencies. 

The Cynon Valley MP prepared a dossier for the Welsh executive committee (WEC) which was considered last weekend.

Ms Winter said the process “was not inclusive, fair or democratic” and “this leads to feelings of a lack of trust and confidence in Labour Party procedures.” 

The detailed report contained 27 questions about the process and alleged abuses by Welsh Labour.

It is alleged that information and explanation were withheld from Ms Winter “at every stage” of the process, which was “pushed through” in an unusually short timeframe, and at a peak holiday period, for “reasons that remain unclear.”

The MP also said that voters were disenfranchised by extremely tight deadlines and an “inexplicable” freeze date, a “complete lack of clarity” and in some cases because they did not have email addresses.

She claimed that the process indirectly discriminated against older members by creating a two-tier system – “those who could vote online and those who could not.”  

The left MP also alleged that Mr Jones seemed to be able to use Welsh Labour resources in support of his campaign and that procedural guidance issued by the party was not adhered to.

Ms Winter said: “In order to restore some trust in the party, I am of the firm belief that an independent review of the selection process in Merthyr Tydfil & Upper Cynon is now essential.”

WEC sources told the Star that the report had been kicked into the long grass at the meeting.

An attempt was made to accept that an independent review should take place, but a majority of committee members had agreed it be deferred until the WEC had a chance to read the responses being drafted.

The next WEC meeting is in December but, apparently, the chair, Anthony Hunt, said there was a need to move the matter quickly.

Welsh Labour was contacted for comment.


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