Local Constituency In 'Special Measures' For Eight Years
But the Labour Party says this has strengthened membership
The Labour Party has responded to questions about the Brentford/Isleworth constituency being in 'special measures' for the past eight years. The party is due to announce its list of thirty candidates for the 2014 Local Elections next week.
The Falkirk constituency in Scotland was recently put into 'special measures' by the party following allegations of irregularities in its selection process for a Westminster parliamentary candidate. Under 'special measures' the party's head office reviews internal membership procedures.
The local constituency of Brentford and Isleworth has been in 'special measures' for eight years, following membership irregularities in one ward, which was suspended and then re-launched. But a spokesman for the Labour Party said this did not impact on the party locally and anyone could still join as a member.
"The process of Special Measures leads to having a very vigorous and accurate membership database in place. In essence it means that we currently have 693 members in the Constituency party who are all resident and fully compliant with our party rule book.
"The ten Wards in the Constituency selected three council candidates in each following a series of shortlisting and selection meetings by members in each electoral ward. This process was exactly the same as has occurred across London in preparation for the 2014 Borough Council Elections. A full list of all 30 Candidates will be released next week.
“Constituency Labour Parties are never placed in special measures lightly and never kept there longer than necessary to protect the integrity of the membership. There are a very small number of parties in special measures."
Fourteen local associations are in 'special measures' throughout the UK at the moment, most for several years.
The Labour spokesman said that any individual living in a constituency where the party was in 'special measures' could apply for membership in the normal way. They would be asked to provide two additional pieces of identification (proof of address such as utility bills etc), and electoral roll information.
"This process ensures that new members are genuine, valid applicants in areas where there have previously been problems regarding recruitment of individuals who are not eligible."
Asked when the local constituency might be taken out of 'special measures' he said it was probably not something that would happen until after the parliamentary selection process was finished later this year.
The Labour Party has announced it will pursue urgent disciplinary action over the alleged irregularites in Falkirk. Police have said there are insufficient grounds for a criminal investigation.
There is also likely to be an investigation by the Information Commissioner into whether data protection rules were broken.
The controversy arose earlier this month when allegations were made that the party's biggest trade union backer, Unite, had tried to swing the contest in favour of its preferred candidate by cramming the constituency with more than 100 new members.
Unite said it had broken neither the law nor Labour Party rules and welcomed the police announcement.
July 26, 2013