Labour may back city's mayor-elect

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MEMBERS of Labour's ruling national executive are prepared to support Petrona Lashley, a former prostitute, against moves by the party to block her from becoming the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, writes Colin Brown.

Ms Lashley, a councillor for the Granby ward and the deputy Lord Mayor, is ready to appeal to the NEC against a decision by her regional party to drop her as a candidate at next year's local elections.

One senior NEC member said: 'The fact that she was a prostitute should have nothing to do with it . . . She has served her sentence, and it is supposed to be written off after that. I am very concerned about this whole affair.'

Other members of the NEC are expected to be sympathetic towards her appeal, although it is unclear whether there would be a majority in her favour. The NEC may order her reinstatement on the list of candidates, pending further investigations.

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