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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Graduate Media Assistant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...

Guru Careers: Solutions Consultant

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before