Date set for Falkirk candidate vote

Stephen Deans, chairman of Falkirk CLP and Unite Scotland
Stephen Deans, chairman of Falkirk CLP and Unite Scotland
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The selection of a Labour candidate to contest the Falkirk seat at the 2015 General Election remains bogged down in political infighting.

But a date has now been set which grassroot party workers hope will bring the protracted – and potentially damaging – process to an end.

Following MP Eric Joyce’s resignation from the party last year, after his conviction for assault, Falkirk Constituency Labour Party has to select a new candidate.

However, what should have been a simple process, carried out in countless branches across the country, has thrust Falkirk into the headlines. It followed allegations that the Unite union broke rules in signing up new CLP members in a bid to have its preferred candidate, Karie Murphy, nominated.

The ensuing row saw an internal Labour Party report into events and Ms Murphy, along with Stevie Deans, the Falkirk CLP chairman, suspended.

But on September 6 
Labour issued a statement which made it clear neither individual nor the union were guilty of wrongdoing or had broken any rules.

A police investigation also found there was no criminal case to answer.

On Sunday, members of the CLP met at Camelon 
Labour Club.

Reports that Mr Deans would resign from his chairman’s role proved unfounded and, though he did not attend, he submitted his apologies.

An agm will take place on November 24 and Gray Allan, CLP vice-chairman, said: “Like all officials, he remains in position until then.”