Saturday, 20 March 2010

Labour in Fix Storm + Hoon in cash-for access scandal

Hoon and De Piero
The row over who will represent Labour in Ashfield at the general Election continues to rumble on – with local members denying the shortlist has been fixed to ensure former GMTV presenter Gloria De Piero secures the position.
Ashfield party bosses have rejected reports at the weekend which suggested they believed ‘that Downing Street is “using every trick in the book” to force Ms de Piero into the commons’.
The claims centred on the changes made to the shortlist on Thursday to make it easier for Ms De Piero to become the party’s candidate.
But Ashfield Labour party vice-chairman, Edward Llewellyn-Jones, said:
 “Nobody in the party has come to me and said anything of the sort. We have no idea why the list was changed between Thursday and Friday other than what the party have said – that it was a clerical error”.
It had been reported that another candidate – Pam Tatlow, who is a chief executive of university think-tank Million+ - was on the list but then a revised version was issued with Joyce still on it instead.
The labour party denies claims that Mrs Tatlow had been replaced because ‘she looked like a serious contender’, while Mrs Still was an ‘unheard of health visitor’.
Yesterday Labour backed Mr Llewellyn-Jones claim that the mix-up was caused by a ‘clerical error’ – and say it was rectified as soon as possible.
On Friday, the shortlist of candidates – which includes Ms de Piero, Berkshire-based Mrs Still and party campaigner Faye Abbott – turned out for the hustings at Ashfield District Council’s Kirkby Offices.
They addressed party members, who will decide by postal ballot who they want to replace current Ashfield MP Geoff Hoon as their candidate, and the results are expected to be announced on Saturday.
None of the candidates were able to speak to the press at the hustings but Mr Llewellyn-Jones said that it had been a ‘very good meeting’, that all the candidates had their strong points and they answered their questions well.
The Chad ( You won't find this article online)
Meanwhile, Geoff Hoon is at the centre of a cash-for-access row after being secretly filmed offering help to a fake lobbying company in exchange for cash, set up by Channel 4.
Full story HERE

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