Outrageous that there is no local candidate to be Bassetlaw's next MP

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

When I was selected as a candidate to stand for Bassetlaw by the Labour Party there were 83 applicants, at least three of whom also eventually became MPs elsewhere, writes John Mann MP.

Every trade union could make nominations and eight Labour Party branches had member meetings where they could choose a man and a woman to nominate.

Five of them nominated me.

From these nominations, a shortlist of candidates was agreed by the local party and local people chose their favoured candidate.

We have a word for this: democracy.

Now in Bassetlaw, and elsewhere, we are facing having candidates forced on local people and I understand it has been decided to remove all local people from the list.

The unions tipped me off about this and two good locals immediately withdrew, in the knowledge that their names would be rejected.

One was the Worksop born and bred MEP.

Not satisfied with this, the council leader put his name forward, but he has also been excluded.

He had no interview, no right to appeal and there is no local say.

READ THIS: Council leader out of race to be Bassetlaw's next MP.

Local members have gone crazy about this and they intend to force a candidate of their choice on Bassetlaw.

In my view it is obvious why this is happening.

A local council leader would have a good chance of being chosen by local people, but then he or she might have their own brain and not automatically follow the diktats of big brother.

I have kept out of supporting any successor to me, but it is only right and proper that local people are able to choose their own person.

It says a lot about what is happening to our country that it seems to me that some people want to steal our say from us at every opportunity.

As George Orwell wrote, in his famous book Animal Farm, all animals are created equal but some are created more equal than others.

I am demanding that Jeremy Corbyn shows leadership and gives local people the opportunity to be Bassetlaw’s MP and stops this outside interference.

Anything else will be an outrage.

John Mann is MP for Bassetlaw.