Labour MP Beth Winter alleges unfair obstacles in Wales seat selection

Labour MP Beth Winter has expressed her disappointment after losing a selection battle for a new seat in Wales due to proposed boundary changes. Winter claimed she faced “unacceptable obstacles” during the contest against Labour frontbencher Gerald Jones, who was announced as the candidate for Merthyr Tydfil and Upper Cynon. Winter stated she would be “taking advice and soundings” on her next steps, citing issues with the “online only process” and the lack of face-to-face hustings.

This controversy arises amid a dispute over the decision to block left-wing Labour mayor Jamie Driscoll from running for another role in the North East. Momentum, a grassroots left-wing organisation supporting Labour, accused the party’s leadership of attempting to purge socialists and install Keir Starmer loyalists. Driscoll has not ruled out taking legal action against the party.

In a statement, Winter said, “In this contest, I sought reselection as Labour’s candidate on a platform of solidarity with striking rail workers, nurses and teaching staff, all of whom I have been proud to stand with on the picket line.” She added that she had campaigned for properly funded public services, an extension of workers’ rights, the renationalisation of public services and a ‘green new deal’ for an economic recovery.

Addressing the “obstacles” she faced, Winter claimed the “online only process” was “bulldozed through” in a matter of weeks without any face-to-face hustings. She stated, “This was not a fair contest, and I will be taking advice and soundings in the days ahead about my next steps.”

Winter has been MP for Cynon Valley since 2019 and is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group parliamentary caucus. She had previously expressed concern about the contest being predominantly online. Veteran left-wing MP John McDonnell commented on the case, calling the result a “huge setback for our movement” and stating that questions need to be asked about the online-only process.

Gerald Jones, who has represented Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney since 2015 and serves as shadow Wales minister, thanked Winter for a “comradely campaign.” He expressed his gratitude to Labour members for choosing him as the candidate for Merthyr Tydfil & Upper Cynon and pledged to work tirelessly to make Keir Starmer the next prime minister.

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Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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