Dobson faces new campaign scandal

FRANK DOBSON'S campaign to secure Labour's nomination to run as London Mayor was yesterday embroiled in a fresh scandal after allegations that the ex-Health Secretary had been given an unfair advantage over his rivals.

A Dobson supporter claimed that on 9 October he saw on a computer screen in Mr Dobson's campaign headquarters a list of party members, which he claimed was a centrally held list of Labour's London membership. Under Labour Party rules, no candidate is allowed access to central lists and Millbank officials deny supplying them to Mr Dobson's campaign.

Last night, Mr Dobson called on Labour chiefs to hand over the lists to his Labour rivals in the mayoral race, but he insisted he had done "nothing improper whatsoever".

Party officials are expected to agree to the former Health Secretary's suggestion on the strict condition all three candidates swear an oath that they will not let the lists fall into the hands of the party's enemies.

Paul Lettan, who had been working in the Dobson campaign HQ, yesterday told the BBC: "It was definitely the Labour membership mailing list. It has a particular screen and it says at the top `Labour Party Membership List'.

"At the time I didn't think anything of it, it was only a few days later when I heard that Glenda Jackson and Ken Livingstone didn't have the membership list that I realised.

"I don't believe Frank Dobson had anything to do with this. It's the kind of thing that goes on at a much lower level, where you get young, enthusiastic supporters who possibly get carried away. But I certainly think that it's wrong. I certainly think it's immoral."

Yesterday, Mr Dobson's campaign manager, the Greenwich MP Nick Raynsford, said that the lists, used for a mail-shot of 68,000 Labour members, did not come from Labour HQ, but from individual MPs and MEPs. But the latest allegations left Labour facing an embarrassing investigation into claims that they might have been supplied illegally.

Mr Raynsford insisted that nothing unlawful had happened and stressed it was incorrect to suggest that lists had been made available to Mr Dobson but not to rivals Glenda Jackson and Ken Livingstone. The details are available to MPs, MEPs, candidates for the Greater London Assembly, constituency secretaries, branch secretaries and membership secretaries.

But a spokesman for Ms Jackson said yesterday: "Mr Raynsford's explanation doesn't hold water. Both Glenda Jackson and Ken Livingstone are members of the Parliamentary Labour Party but Glenda was specifically told by Millbank officials that the central membership list would not be made available to her or her campaign."

Ms Jackson herself made it clear that no one in her constituency party had handed over her membership list.

"No one approached me for those lists, to my knowledge no one approached any official in my party or anyone else within the party and yet those lists were furnished. What is disturbing is ... that someone has been able to access, it would appear, the central computer," she said.

The former transport minister added that no one was "more open, honest and decent" than Mr Dobson but said the suggestions of "dirty work at the crossroads" reflected badly on the party.

Labour insisted that no centrally held records had been sent to any candidate. "I am confident that the Labour Party centrally has not provided lists or records to any candidate," a spokesman said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee