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Fears grow that up to 40 Labour parliamentary selections may have been rigged

FEARS are growing that up to 40 Labour parliamentary selections may have been rigged through the abuse of a controversial online voting system.

Two sitting MPs are threatening legal action after Anonyvoter — a system designed by Labour associates of the party’s general secretary David Evans — was used in their deselections, with police investigating alleged abuses in a third constituency.

More than 2,500 Labour members have backed a petition run by campaign group Momentum demanding an independent investigation into the system.

One well-placed source feared that 30 to 40 candidate selections may have been compromised.

Left MPs Sam Tarry and Beth Winter both claim the party has failed to investigate concerns that online votes were used to secure their removal as Labour candidates, despite their winning most in-person and postal votes.

Mr Tarry, who lost re-selection in the east London seat of Ilford South in 2022, has said:  “The Labour Party hierarchy has failed to resolve this matter.

“What’s gone on in Ilford South, and allegedly in other selections too, is unlike anything I have seen in 20 years in the Labour Party.

“The Labour Party owes it to its members and the voters to resolve this democratic outrage before it becomes a full-blown crisis that will harm our electoral performance.

“The use of Anonyvoter must be stopped immediately.”

Beth Winter was deselected last year in favour of another sitting Labour MP, Gerald Jones, for the merged seat of Merthyr Tydfil and Upper Cynon in Wales. 

She said: “The ongoing controversy around Anonyvoter understandably leads to a lack of trust and confidence in Labour Party procedures.

“Labour should end its use of Anonyvoter and commission a trusted independent balloting administrator to conduct its internal ballots, including parliamentary selections, in future.”

Concerns about Anonyvoter suggest it is open to manipulation in various ways by whoever is operating the system. 

Police cyber-crime specialists are investigating claims of membership-list tampering and fraudulent voting in the selection procedure in Croydon East, where the system was also used.

In Ilford it is understood that there is overwhelming evidence of manipulation of the outcome in this selection.

Mr Tarry claims to have won 57 per cent of the in-person votes but just 35 per cent of the Anonyvoter votes, an unusually large discrepancy. 

A Labour spokesman said: “We have full confidence in the integrity of both selection processes and the use of Anonyvoter.”

 

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