Labour will select its next Falkirk candidate from an all-female list

Picture: Scottish Labour Party logo
Picture: Scottish Labour Party logo
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The next candidate to contest the Falkirk seat for Labour at the General Election will be female.

This week, local members have been told by the party hierarchy that the forthcoming selection process will be from an all-woman shortlist.

It comes as there was further controversy over the candidate who some have perceived as the frontrunner.

Reports at the weekend claimed Karie Murphy had pulled out of the candidacy race. But now the former Unison official has said she is reconsidering.

Labour councillor Linda Gow, Gregor Poynton, UK political director for communications firm Blue State Digital, and former Constituency Labour Party (CLP) chairman Martin Murray were also in contention.

Local consultation into whether an all-women shortlist should be used was pulled after complaints about how it was run. It had been paid for by Unite, who are backing Ms Murphy.

More recently she had been at the centre of controversy over a Facebook comment about the late Margaret Thatcher.

But yesterday (Wednesday), current Falkirk West CLP chairman Steven Deans said its executive committee was working well together.

He said: “We need a strong and focussed MP. The upcoming selection process will allow us to choose this person from an all woman shortlist. This was announced on Tuesday by our national executive committee.

“Falkirk West executive committee supported this decision almost unanimously.

“We welcomed the announcement and will be encouraging all interested parties to submit their CVs for consideration by the local party.”

He said the selection process would be carried out by the local party, adding: “It will be fair and transparent, and fully inclusive with all members given the opportunity to fully participate.”

Last night, Ms Murphy said: “I had initially intimated to my trade union and the national executive that I would be withdrawing from standing to dampen down negative press coverage.

“However, I have been overwhelmed by the support I have been shown and am reconsidering my position.”

The seat will be vacated by former Labour MP Eric Joyce, who is standing down in 2015 after a court appearance for assault.