Labour MP Sam Tarry lashes out as he loses reselection battle

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Labour MP Sam Tarry lashes out as he loses reselection battle
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A London Labour MP has lashed out at his party claiming he had evidence of “rule-breaking” and “voter fraud” after he lost a reselection battle.

The party confirmed the threshold to “trigger” Ilford South MP Sam Tarry had been met, meaning local party members can vote to keep him as their candidate or opt for someone else.

All ten local Labour branches voted against Corbynite Mr Parry automatically becoming their candidate at the next election.

As the sitting MP, Mr Tarry will automatically be on the shortlist.

In a statement, he said he had submitted evidence to the party of “rule-breaking, concrete evidence of voter fraud, voter impersonation, widespread voting by party members not on the electoral register, and the dangerous whipping up of communal tensions to undermine the democratic reselection process in an attempt to unseat me”.

 (House of Commons)
(House of Commons)

Mr Tarry is believed to be in a relationship with Angela Rayner, the pair becoming close after he ran her campaign to become Labour’s deputy leader.

He was also a key member of Jeremy Corbyn’s successive leadership bid in 2016. He claimed today that there was a “targeted” plot to oust socialist MPs from the party.

“For the past three years I’ve been subjected to some of the vilest smears,” he said.

“While many will say that is par for the course of being a politician, when those attacks are designed to dangerously whip up communal tensions in a diverse community, as well as libellously insinuate that I in some way influenced the outcome of the selection that I won fairly against a sitting counsellor and other candidates in 2019 - it is time to say, enough is enough.

“There is now a clear pattern of factional elements of the party machine, targeting socialist and trade union backed candidates.”

It comes after Apsana Begum, another Corbynite who was elected in 2019, was also told she will face a contest over whether she will be allowed to stand in the next election.

All but one of her local Labour branches voted to trigger her.

The Poplar and Limehouse MP has been signed off sick from work after a “sustained campaign of misogynistic abuse”.

Sources close to Ms Begum, who is Parliament’s first hijab-wearing MP, said she had submitted more than 40 complaints to the Labour party about the trigger ballot process.Allies claim local members also broke rules to campaign for her deselection, but say the party has refused to investigate and pause the process.

Last year, Ms Begum was cleared of housing fraud after Tower Hamlets council took her to court, alleging she had failed to disclose information relating to her social housing application.

Her defence lawyer claimed a complaint, made in 2019 by a relation of her ex-husband, was “false”.

During the case she alleged her former partner, councillor Ehtashamul Haque, had been emotionally abusive and controlling. Mr Haque has denied the allegations.

Last year at the Labour Party Annual Conference a rule change was passed that increased the threshold for triggering sitting Labour MPs.

A party spokesman said the “trigger” threshold was a universal process faced by all Labour MPs on the same rules and procedures.

They added that “no one is ‘deselected’ by the trigger process”.

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