Labour candidate Manish Sood suspended over pre-election Gordon Brown criticism

An election candidate who described Gordon Brown as the "worst Prime Minister" has been suspended from the Labour Party, he said today.

Manish Sood caused uproar when he spoke out last week, just days before the General Election, calling Mr Brown "incompetent" and saying he didn't "know what he was talking about".

Mr Sood, who lives in Leicester but was standing in the North West Norfolk constituency, did not attend his own election count, saying it was because of the way he had been treated by party workers.

Last Thursday he said he had been disowned by Labour members and claimed he also received anonymous "threats" which he had asked police to investigate.

Mr Sood was censured by Labour officials in Norfolk after criticising Mr Brown. Local party chairman David Collis said he was a "dreadful candidate".

He received 6,353 votes in last Thursday's polls, coming third. Conservative Henry Bellingham got 25,916 votes while Lib Dem William Summers received 11,106.

Today, Mr Sood said he has now been suspended by the Labour Party because of the comments he made about Mr Brown.

He said: "Basically just after the day it all came out they suspended me from the party.

"I got an email saying I had been suspended from the party for speaking against Gordon Brown.

"I'm actually quite upset. It's very, very damaging because I can't move forward now.

"They have said they are going to investigate but there's not much more I can do until they sort out where the problems are."

He said despite Mr Brown's resignation, the party seemed to be "totally split", and added: "There is definitely a long way to go before they have a decent leader."

He added: "But I'm still proud of what I did."

Mr Sood said his suspension also affects his work as a city councillor in Leicester and he is currently unable to attend certain meetings.

"I can't go to any meetings, I can only go to branch meetings but I can't represent the party.

"I can't go to any meetings on the police authority either.

"What they are basically making me is a sleeping councillor, I'm getting my allowances but I can't do anything."

Mr Sood's mother - a Labour councillor in Leicester and former Lord Mayor of the city - criticised his comments at the time.

But today Mr Sood said: "She has calmed down but there's not much she can do. She is doing her job and I'm doing mine.

"She has agreed that I'm mature enough to make my decisions and she has got her own views.

"At the end of the day, I'm a young, handsome, single guy in the party and I have got my way of thinking and she has got hers but I've just got to carry on. I'm pleased with what I did."

Today, a spokesman for the Labour Party confirmed Mr Sood had been suspended.

He said: "It is what is called a General Secretary's Administrative Suspension. It's an administrative suspension but we cannot comment further."

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