A potential Labour candidate in Brighton has been accused of spreading “inaccurate and misleading information” about a fellow party member.
The accusation came after Harris Fitch, who hopes to be chosen for the safe seat of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, sent an email to branch members as he awaits a date for a selection run-off.
It followed a selection meeting earlier this month when sitting councillors Leigh Farrow and Anne Meadows were reselected.
But Councillor Mo Marsh, who topped the poll in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean at the last two Brighton and Hove City Council elections, tied for the third slot with Mr Fitch.
He wrote: “As you may know the selection meeting produced two candidates. As far as I know the meeting was carried out incorrectly and a fellow candidate has complained about this.
“This may result in having to hold the meeting again for the final candidate or it might require selecting the three candidates at once.
“Regardless of what happens, who gets selected and how many votes they receive everyone has put up a good fight.
“I really want to help see a Labour victory here in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean and Kemptown but this can only be done through vigorous campaigning within our community.
“Due to the ward’s inactivity, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean may well have been the reason that Kemptown went to the Conservatives but this will not be allowed to happen again.
“That is why I hope that you will place your vote behind my name when the new selection meeting is called.
“We are trying to build a sustainable, energised and effective campaigning machine here. Please support these goals by selecting me when we next have the opportunity.”
Later the same evening – on Thursday 20 March – Councillor Meadows sent a follow-up email to branch members.
She wrote: “It has been brought to my attention that some inaccurate and misleading information has been sent to you.
“I am sorry to hear that members are being accused of doing nothing in the ward.
“I thought I would put this information in some context.
“In the 2010 elections there were only two Labour councillors working hard in the ward.
“Against a background of a longstanding Labour government and a rising tide of support for the Green Party, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean did very well in the 2010 general elections with a turnout of 3,238 Labour voters.
“In East Brighton, the safest Labour seat, for example, they have a higher number of voters yet only achieved 2,620 votes for Labour.
“It is a shame that the hard work of the two Labour councillors (Marsh and Meadows) with support from university students and hardworking GMB members from Croydon is being misrepresented in this way.”
No date has been published for the selection run-off.
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