An official complaint has been lodged with the Labour Party after the Momentum-backed candidate for Norwich North was not shortlisted for selection last weekend.
Unison organiser Jo Rust was backed by Unite, Aslef, Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth, and every ward that made a nomination. Her own union chose not to nominate.
Rust hit back at the decision not to shortlist her, accusing the selection panel of “stifling debate” and said they were “worried about the new kind of politics that I offer.”
A letter of complaint co-signed by 171 Labour and union members from across the country has been sent to Labour Party. The letter criticises the selection panel’s decision and for failing to justify its decision not to shortlist Rust. It concludes that the candidate was “excluded for political reasons alone.”
The letter was signed by prominent journalist Owen Jones and former Norwich North MP, Ian Gibson, who stepped down following the expenses scandal. The full letter and list of signatories can be viewed below.
Rust was previously shortlisted for the seat in 2012 but lost the members vote to Progress-affiliated Jessica Asato, who works for a domestic abuse charity. She contested the safe Conservative seat North West Norfolk in both 2015 and 2017 general elections.
Labour have targeted Norwich North after Tory MP Chloe Smith held on in June’s General Election by just 507 votes.