Labour activists call on Corbyn to intervene in Worksop deselection row

Sally Gimson, pictured with Bassetlaw Labour activists
Sally Gimson, pictured with Bassetlaw Labour activists

Labour Party activists in Bassetlaw have called directly on Jeremy Corbyn to intervene after parliamentary hopeful Sally Gimson was deselected.

Members of the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) say they are standing behind Mrs Gimson as their chosen candidate, and say the party risks losing the seat if they do not endorse a candidate "who can win hearts and minds".

A legal challenge has now been launched against Labour following the deselection of Sally Gimson on Wednesday, November 7.

Despite being elected by local members, a committee at the national party removed the candidate and it is now understood to be seeking new applications.

They say the deselection related to ‘very serious’ allegations made about her – something Sally Gimson emphatically denies.

Now, a legal bid has been launched, with the Labour Party being ‘put on notice’ that its ‘utter sham, conducted with no concern for the truth or fairness’ will be challenged.

A public, legal letter to the party on behalf of Mrs Gimson, says: “It is difficult to imagine how the process could have been handled more unfairly,” and describes the decision as ‘unlawful and unsustainable.’

The party has said it does not comment on internal selection matters.

READ MORE: Labour bars Bassetlaw parliamentary candidate after complaints emerge
And the Bassetlaw CLP says it has still not been contacted by the national party’s ruling body – the National Executive Committee (NEC) – to explain its decision.

The Holborn and St Pancras CLP, where the allegations are said to have originated from, also says it has not been contacted by the NEC to verify the validity of the allegations.

It also says despite submitting 20 statements refuting the claims, the NEC chose to ignore this in order to deselect her.

Meanwhile, Mrs Gimson has said she was “astonished’ that the complaints suddenly emerged after I had been chosen as the candidate”.

She added: “I was horrified that accusations could be made against you without saying who the accuser is, or without any proper evidence.”

She says no official complaints had ever been made about her at her local Labour party.

The outgoing MP John Mann has called the deselection ‘the mother of all stitch ups’.

A statement from the Bassetlaw CLP said: “Having recently selected Sally via a democratic process, we should be entitled to understand the nature of the allegations made against her, and the source of these allegations.

“To date, we have not been contacted by the NEC or anyone from the national party about this process.

“With this in mind, until evidence is forthcoming, we stand here united behind her as a candidate who has won the respect of the local party; won votes on the doorstep; and promoted a positive future for Bassetlaw that goes beyond Brexit.

“We support her in any legal process she is considering and appeal for common sense and local democracy to prevail.

READ MORE: Bassetlaw Labour selects ex-charity worker to fight General Election
“To Jeremy Corbyn as party leader, we want to make a specific appeal.

“Bassetlaw is a marginal seat that will be massively damaged by Brexit.

“We need a Labour candidate who can win hearts and minds on the doorsteps.

“Sally is that candidate, and we ask for you to intervene in this case so that, together, we can win Bassetlaw for Labour and ensure a Government which operated for the many, not the few.

“If we lost this seat for the first time since 1929, as local party activists, we take no responsibility for this loss unless our democratically-elected candidate is reinstated.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover the legal costs of the challenge against the party. This has raised £1,765 in just 21 hours.

It is understood the deselection came after complaints relating to ‘very serious allegations’ concerning ‘protected characteristics’. This can relate to issues surrounding race, disability, and sexuality.