Issued Septemeber 6th
The Labour Party began an internal process to examine the controversy surrounding the selection of a parliamentary candidate for Falkirk. At each step Labour’s general secretary and NEC have acted quickly to protect the interest of the party.
Since Labour began its internal process key evidence has been withdrawn and further evidence provided by individuals concerned. Karie Murphy and Steve Deans, who were suspended, will now be reinstated as they have not been guilty of any wrongdoing. No organisation or individual has been found to have breached the rules as they stood at the time.
The general secretary has determined that given these circumstances Labour should move to select its candidate for Falkirk West.
These steps will enable Labour in Falkirk without further delay to choose a candidate and prepare for the general election.
Throughout the controversy surrounding what we consider to be the revitalisation work in Falkirk both Stevie Deans and myself have maintained that we have done nothing wrong, and that our union Unite has done nothing wrong.
The media attention on Falkirk has centred on candidate selection and, whilst having MPs who represent the values of ordinary working people is very important, our objective of getting ordinary members actively involved in a vibrant local party has been forgotten in the media coverage.
Developments in Falkirk have left me shocked and saddened but I have acted throughout in what I believe was in the interest of the Party. I have been sustained during this difficult period by my union, but most importantly, by the members in Falkirk who deserve the highest representation and support. I believe that my continued presence in the Falkirk arena detracts from achieving that goal.
Recently I have met with senior colleagues from both Unite and the Labour Party and have agreed that reconciliation and unity are paramount. It is therefore, with great sadness that I must withdraw my name from any consideration to be the Labour Party candidate for Falkirk. As an activist for 25 years, I was honoured to be persuaded to stand as a local MP, but there is only one decision to be made in the interest of progression.