Labour dump Denny by-election candidate hours before vote over sectarian Facebook messages

Voters in the Denny and Banknock ward go to the polls tomorrow
Voters in the Denny and Banknock ward go to the polls tomorrow

Labour has dramatically dumped its candidate for tomorrow’s Denny and Banknock by-election just hours before the polls are due to open.

Andy Bell will still appear on ballot papers as it is too late for the party to name a replacement.

Andy Bell will now stand as an independent in tomorrow's by-election after Labour withdrew its support

Andy Bell will now stand as an independent in tomorrow's by-election after Labour withdrew its support

Labour withdrew its support for the unemployed chef from Larbert after it was shown a series of Facebook posts from his account.

The screengrabs, which have been seen by The Falkirk Herald, were gathered by a concerned constituent.

They appear to show Mr Bell sharing sectarian messages.

Several high-profile Labour party members - including leadership hopeful Ken Macintosh and Glasgow council leader Gordon Matheson - have been in Denny campaigning on Mr Bell’s behalf in recent days.

The party has withdrawn any support Andy Bell as a candidate

Scottish Labour spokesman

In a personal statement published in The Falkirk Herald last week, Mr Bell told voters he had “learned that you have to fight hard for your goals, but also that having the right support is crucial.”

A spokesman for Scottish Labour said: “Andy Bell has been suspended by the Labour Party pending an investigation. Although it is too late for Mr Bell to be removed from the ballot, the party has withdrawn any support for him as a by-election candidate.”

Tomorrow’s by-election was called following the resignation of John McNally from Falkirk Council after his election as an MP in May.

The Falkirk Herald has asked Mr Bell for comment.