Labour North West has barred all three shortlisted candidates for the Liverpool mayoral elections, leaving many voters confused and angry.
Shortlisted candidates acting mayor Wendy Simon, current lord mayor Anna Rothery, and former deputy mayor Ann O’Byrne were supposed to be competing for Joe Anderson’s vacated position from last week.
Instead, an email sent to Labour party members announced the application process would be reopened. According to the Liverpool Echo, no previous candidates are invited to apply.
So hang on @UKLabour NONE of the current candidates are eligible to run for the position of Mayor of Liverpool, yet one of them has been standing in & doing the job for some time now??? Just one of the many ‘doesn’t add up’ in today’s announcement
— Clare Maher 💙 (@LadyMaher) February 23, 2021
Where is Labour’s commitment to diversity?
Why has @LabourNorthWest reversed the decision to have an all-women shortlist for Liverpool Mayor?
— Labour Grassroots (@Standup4Labour) February 23, 2021
“The right candidate”
The email sent to voters said:
The role of Liverpool Mayor is a high profile and hugely important figure. The people of Liverpool deserve a Labour Mayor and the Labour Party needs to select the right candidate who can deliver an election win, stand up against the Conservatives, lead Liverpool out of the coronavirus crisis and fight for the regeneration and the resources that the city desperately needs.
After careful consideration, the Labour Party has determined that applications for the position should be re-opened in order to allow the Liverpool Labour membership to choose from an alternative shortlist of candidates.
The three original candidates were reportedly not informed of the decision before the email was sent.
Labour reopens applications for Liverpool Mayor nominations @CllrAnnaRothery has been banned from standing (no reason given, but she was backed by Jeremy Corbyn…)
Labour is an absolute joke of a partyhttps://t.co/rnq8VLEYGU
— troovus (@troovus) February 23, 2021
The decision has been met with disbelief by many people, particularly supporters of Anna Rothery. Rothery has received support from across the Labour party, including from MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Zarah Sultana, and from mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees.
I am stunned this blatant attempt to stop a Socialist becoming Mayor of Liverpool. Anna must stand as an Independent and @UKLabour need kicking into touch in Liverpool. My membership is getting lashed in the bin.
— Gary Jacko (@thegaryjacko) February 23, 2021
Wendy Simon has been serving as acting mayor of Liverpool since previous Labour mayor Joe Anderson stepped down in December 2020. Anderson stepped down after being arrested under suspicion of conspiring to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
Starmer has decided that the people of Liverpool can’t decide on who they want as Mayor.
Only non socialists need apply.
We need to do something about this.
We need a new leadership. This stinks. https://t.co/XvAyI303iV
— Dazred (@DarrenMelia1) February 23, 2021
Many people have accused Labour North West of making the decision to remove left wing candidates.
Some centrist from Bedford in 2 days after receiving party establishment support for Liverpool Mayor pic.twitter.com/fKrva250DT
— Sam 🚩❄️ (@hopexha17) February 23, 2021
Is this what happens when Starmer’s favourite candidate isn’t shortlisted? Liverpool will not stand for this kind of corruption! https://t.co/9AJgzENd7E
— Chantelle Lunt (@chantellelunt) February 23, 2021
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Rwendland