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Labour unveils how mayoral candidate will be chosen

Ed Miliband will today unveil his plans to change the link between the trade union movement and the Labour party, and a reform of the process through which party candidates are selected. In a speech this morning in London, he will propose the following:

  • Labour's next candidate for mayor of London to be picked through a system of US-style primaries.
  • There is a possibility they could be extended to the selection of parliamentary candidates where the local constituency party is weak.
  • There will also be spending caps in selection contests for Parliament and the European Parliament covering both would-be candidates and any organisation backing them.
  • A new code of conduct will be drawn up for those seeking parliamentary selection, with the prospect of disqualification if they breach the rules.

Tweet sparked Tory demands for probe into Labour candidate selection in Lewisham

The Conservatives say a tweet from a hopeful Prospective Parliamentary Candidate is behind their calls for a Metropolitan Police investigation into Labour's candidate selection in Lewisham.

Mandy Richards, who is hoping to represent Labour in Hornsey and Wood Green, tweeted about "orchestration" from Unite in Hornsey and Lewisham.

The Conservatives say this was the tweet that sparked the latest Met investigation Credit: Twitter

Conservative vice-Chairman Bob Neill Falkirk has written to the Met Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, saying that the furore over Falkirk was "the tip of the iceberg".

In that case, Labour handed over evidence to police in Scotland about claims that the Unite union tried to fix the result of a candidate selection in Falkirk by packing the constituency with members, whose subscriptions it paid.

Mandy Richards tweets have ignited calls for a new investigation into Labour candidate selection processes Credit: Twitter

A Unite spokesman said: "The Conservatives are wasting police time and trying to engage the police in a disgraceful political witch hunt. We strenuously reject any suggestion of criminality or that we have broken Labour Party rules.

"Using the police to score political points and diverting their attentions away from making our communities safer is obscene. The Tories' smear tactics are designed to scare ordinary people away from engaging in politics and ensure it becomes the preserve of an Eton-educated elite."

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Falkirk "the tip of the iceberg"

Conservatives have asked the Met Police to investigate Labour's candidate selection process in two more constituencies.Tory vice-chairman Bob Neill wrote to Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe asking him to look into allegations of possible fraud relating to Ilford North and Lewisham Deptford.

Bob Neill cited claims that Unite had "bankrolled" campaigns including that of Vicky Foxcroft for Lewisham Deptford Credit: LabourList

The call comes after Labour handed over evidence to police in Scotland about claims that the Unite union tried to fix the result of a candidate selection in Falkirk by packing the constituency with members, whose subscriptions it paid.

Conservative vice-chairmen Bob Neill has called Falkirk "the tip of the iceberg" Credit: Katie Collins/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mr Neill described Falkirk as "the tip of the iceberg", noting that a leaked Unite document suggested the union was getting involved in the choice of a candidate for the 2015 general election in 41 seats across the country.

He said: "Unite themselves admit they are targeting at least another 40 Labour Party parliamentary selections for similar treatment. Senior Labour Party sources have also confessed that the problems go wider than just Falkirk."

He cited reports that in Ilford North Unite were offering their members free Labour Party membership for attending a meeting with general secretary Len McCluskey. And he quoted claims from a Labour London activist that the union was "bankrolling" a number of campaigns, including in Lewisham Deptford

Met Police to investigate London Labour candidate selections

Conservatives have asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate Labour's candidate selection process in two further constituencies, it was revealed today.

Tory vice-chairman Bob Neill wrote to Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe asking him to look into allegations of possible fraud relating to Ilford North and Lewisham Deptford, both in Greater London.

The call comes after Labour handed over evidence to police in Scotland about claims that the Unite union tried to fix the result of a candidate selection in Falkirk by packing the constituency with members, whose subscriptions it paid.

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Labour: Military element to funeral is 'unattractive'

Labour peer, Baroness Helena Kennedy told Daybreak that she found the military element to Margaret Thatcher's funeral "unattractive", she said she would have preferred a much smaller affair.

"This kind of public ritual is in some ways replacing other things that have been lost and in some ways I think that is what this is about", she added.

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Labour: Benefits cap is brutally unfair to families

The Government's household benefit cap will be rolled out in parts of London today.

The welfare reforms will begin in the four boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey.

Speaking to Daybreak, David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham said:

I think this is brutally unfair to families, these are often women with three or more children and they now face eviction, hardship, the loss of over £100 a week for many of them, for no fault of their own.

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Jowell: Anti-Thatcher violence 'completely out of order'

The former culture secretary Tessa Jowell, who is MP for the neighbouring constituency of Dulwich, has condemned the anti-Thatcher celebrations in Brixton and elsewhere in the UK as "disrepectful":

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Labour MP 'accepts that words were not appropriate'

A spokesman for Chuka Ummuna has apologised if "lighthearted" comments the shadow minister made in 2006 caused offence.

The spokesman told the Daily Mail: "Though his user account on the site still exists, he has not posted a thread on the site for many years, since long before he was elected as a Member of Parliament."

"In terms of the post from 2006, these were comments made on a private social network well over half a decade ago.

"Though light-hearted in tone and context, and made long before he became an MP, Chuka accepts the choice of words used were not appropriate and apologises if any offence may have been caused."

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Home Secretary's plan for Abu Qatada 'ripped apart'

This is an extremely serious and disappointing judgment which rips apart Theresa May's strategy for deporting Abu Qatada and contradicts her repeated assurances to Parliament that her approach would get him swiftly on to a plane.

According to security experts, the Home Secretary and the courts, this is an extremely dangerous man, and we all want him to be deported to stand fair trial abroad as soon as possible and to be held in custody in the meantime.

– Yvette Cooper, Shadow home secretary
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MP donates thousands to Comic Relief after tweet

Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart has donated £14,268 to Comic Relief after thousands of people retweeted her post on social networking site Twitter.

The Labour politician told her followers on Friday that she would donate £1.00 to the Red Nose Day appeal for every retweet the post received by 9pm.

"You have to stick by your word if you take a risk like that," she told ITV London.

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