John Edwards one of the few remaining left Sandwell Labour Party members has been deselected for May’s election after he criticised Keith Starmer for being “more in tune with Tories” and slammed “faceless party officials” for interfering in the candidate selection procedure.
Former West Brom West MP Adrian Bailey accused the party’s ruling National Executive Committee of making hugely damaging decisions after four sitting Labour councillors were deselected.
Cllr Edwards stood for Labour Party for 43 years. However, this year he will be running as an independent candidate. He claimed that this is due to his criticisms of Sir Keir Starmer’s “dismal performance.”
Mr Edwards, a former Sandwell Mayor said he has been “moving away” from Labour since Sir Keir replaced Jeremy Corbyn last year. If he stands against a Labour candidate he will automatically be thrown out of the party.
He said: “I have been gutted by the dismal failure of Keir Starmer to provide a voice for ordinary working families and by his woeful lack of opposition to the Tory government.
“He seems to be more in tune with the Tories than with traditional Labour.
“Sadly this is what happens when a working class party finds itself being led by a knight of the realm who has nothing in common with the experiences of working class people.”
Mr Edwards added: “National interference by faceless Labour officials has taken place in the selection of local candidates, no one in my local party had any say in this.”
The Sandwelll part of the East Midlands has seen regular clashes between right and left and had been very much part of Tom Watson’s hunting ground.
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