Labour group is suspended

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Indy Politics
The Labour Party leadership has suspended a local constituency party after members held an "invalid" meeting, it emerged last night.

The move, in Leeds North East, follows claims that members and officers ignored voting rules.

The Yorkshire seat is held by Conservative MP Timothy Kirkhope and Labour would need a swing of 4.3 per cent in order to capture it.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "There was an invalid annual general meeting last night and business meetings within the constituency party have been suspended until after the general election, when a further annual general meeting will be called.

"In the meantime the agent is authorised to take whatever action is necessary.

"In fact this will have little effect on the functioning of the constituency, as all the parties throughout the country have already been advised to cease their business meetings in order to concentrate solely on preparation for the general election.

"Once it is called, the rules of the party make it clear that no business meetings can take place and the only activity which any constituency party can undertake is general election campaign work.

"There was an invalid meeting and a dispute over who was entitled to vote. They did not accept the ruling of the NEC, so the members were suspended."

The Labour Party's general secretary, Tom Sawyer, has asked constituency parties to cease holding general meetings because of the general election campaign. Last year the party's left-wing candidate for Leeds North East, Liz Davies, was deselected following intervention by Labour's national executive.