UPDATE – Labour party meeting cancelled after "attempts to sway leader vote"
A PLANNED meeting of Labour party delegates in the Wentworth and Dearne constituency has been cancelled after accusations of attempts to sway the party’s leader vote.
The constiuency Labour party (CLP) only invited its party delegates to its preferred leadership nomination meeting due to be held at Rotherham Town Hall on Wednesday.
But an email sent out by Alan Gosling, CLP chairman, said the meeting had been cancelled “due to concerns from some members over who was able to attend”.
It added: “To be clear, the meeting was entirely in accordance with the guidelines set out by the NEC. However, after speaking with members the CLP officers have decided that it would not be productive to go ahead with the meeting.”
The cancellation comes after Wath Labour branch member Daniel Platts, a delegate from Unite union, said the decision had been made to only invite delegates and exclude members.
Mr Platts (36) said: “What usually happens in these constituency Labour party monthly meetings is all members get invited. Certain decisions only delegates can vote on, but all members are able to see what the delegates are deciding and can contribute to discussions and try and convince delegates to vote in a certain way.”
Involving members in the decision was the democratic way, he added, and also in the party’s standing orders.
Mr Platts said he believed excluding members was an attempt to sway the vote in favour of Mr Smith.
Speaking before the cancellation, he said: “I believe that the wider membership will be in favour of Corbyn, but the executive and delegates will vote for Owen Smith, so they are trying to sway the vote unfairly.
“People are annoyed by this process, it’s undemocratic, they don’t want the people taking part, especially new members, in the debate around choosing the preferred candidate.”
Mr Healey’s office did not wish to comment but advised it was CLP officers who arranged meetings and not the MP.